Best Types for a Single Type Run in Pokemon Gold, Silver, Crystal, HG, and SS

Pokémon Gold and Silver remains one of the top rated and favorite games in the Pokémon franchise for fans all around. Their popularity was heavily boosted with Heartgold and Soulsilver which, at the time, modernized the games and brought with it Pokémon that could follow you wherever you go. And now, with the rerelease of Pokémon Gold and Silver on the Virtual Console, I thought it was time to revisit these games but this time ask the crucial question, what are the best types for a Single Type (or Monotype) Run? This article will be similar to my previous two articles on the subject matter so feel free to check those out for more information. As usual, a Single Type Run is a run that involves no trading, only trains Pokémon of a certain type, and is completed when you beat the Champion (or in our case the first Elite Four). Since Heartgold and Soulsilver are very similar to their original counterparts (minus the Pokewalker) they’ll be included as well.

Best Types

Image from bulbapedia

Generation 2 has an advantage over its predecessor as it’s building off of most of the original 150 Pokémon with the addition of a 100 new Pokémon that bring more type diversity. As such, there are a lot more fun runs to choose in these games compared to Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, and LeafGreen. The best type for a Single Type Run is probably the Water type. A huge diversity of Water Pokémon available throughout the game makes this a fun type to play as there are many different team combinations. Most notably, this generation introduced Quagsire which neutralizes Water’s weakness to Electricity and can be caught after the first gym. The Flying type is probably the second best as you can catch about ten different type combinations and there’s a new catchable, Flying Pokémon after each gym battle. Other types do very well including Ground, Bug, Normal, Poison, and, if you are generous, Grass and Rock. Check out a list of team combinations below.

Worst Types

Image from bulbapedia

The usual suspects for a bad Single Type Run are found here namely Dragon and Ice. Dragon’s especially bad as you can only catch a Dratini after the final gym and you can’t get a Kingdra unless you trade for one. Ice is very funky though as although the weaknesses are neutralized regardless of the game, the first Ice Pokémon you can catch is the Union Cave Lapras after you get the Surf HM (which is activated after the 4th gym). So you’ll be playing awhile without any Ice Pokémon. Ghost is also not that swell as despite Gastly’s pre-first gym availability, the next Ghost Pokémon you can catch is Misdrevous at Mount Silver, so basically at the end of the game!

Since Gold and Silver introduced Dark and Steel it’s no surprise that there is a rather low and late diversity of them in these games. You have some pretty big handicaps as Steelix and Scizor are basically off the table unless you have a trading partner. Then there’s poor Dark as many of the famous Dark Pokémon (Houndoom, Tyranitar, and Sneasel) are available after you beat the Elite Four.  Although once you finally catch that Murkrow, you won’t have to worry about Fighting and Bug attacks!

Pokewalker

Before I list Type Team Combinations, I should talk about the Pokewalker. As mentioned before, HG and SS are basically the same game as Gold and Silver with some tweaks, graphics update, and other gameplay features which doesn’t affect a route’s Pokémon. But the Pokewalker, God bless this device, makes it so you can catch some Pokémon as early as the first route. Sure, you might have to do a lot of walking but it will be worth it! The Pokewalker makes it so you can catch Electric, Steel, Psychic, Fighting, Dark, Ice, and even Dragon Pokémon right from the get-go! All these Pokémon are Pokémon you can still catch before the Elite Four so you won’t change your team diversity but at least you can get them earlier. This means you can do a feasible Ice type Run as you can catch a Shelldar and a Smoochum fairly early on. If you still have your Pokewalker, give HG and SS a go because a lot of types become more fun for a Single Type Run. I’ll make special mention of the types that are affected by the Pokewalker below.

Team Combinations

Bug

Ideal Team: Heracross, Venomoth, Shuckle, Parasect, Scyther/Yanmega, Forretress

First Pokémon: Caterpie (G, C, HG)/Weedle (S, C, SS)/Ledyba (S, C, SS)/Spinarak (G, C, HG) in Route 30 before the first gym. Venonat and Paras via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

Dark

Ideal Team: Murkrow, Umbreon

First Pokémon: Eevee given by Bill in Goldenrod after the third gym or Murkrow via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? Yes, thanks to Murkrow and Fairy not being introduced yet

Dragon

Ideal Team: Dragonite

First Pokémon: Dratini via Dragon Den after the eighth gym or bought at the Goldenrod Game Corner after the second gym (or by Pokewalker).

Covers Weaknesses? No

Electric

Ideal Team: Raikou, Ampharos (G, S, HG, SS), Magneton, Lanturn, Electrode, Jolteon

First Pokémon: Mareep via Route 32 after first gym (except Crystal which would be Magnemite Route 38 after the second gym) or Magnemite, Elekid, and Voltorb via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? No, Ground is not neutralized.

Fighting

Ideal Team: Primeape (C, G, HG)/Machoke, Poliwrath, Heracross, Hitmontop, Hitmonchan, Hitmonlee

First Pokémon: Heracross via headbutting trees after the second gym, Poliwag in Crystal via Route 30 before the first gym, or Machop via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? Psychic and Flying not neutralized.

Fire

Ideal Team: Typhlosion, Magmar, Ninetales (S, SS)/Arcanine (G, C, HG), Flareon, Rapidash, Ho-Oh (G, HG)

First Pokémon: Cyndaquil via starter

Covers Weaknesses? No; Rock, Water, and Ground (besides Ho-Oh) are not covered

Flying

Ideal Team: Gyarados, Dragonite, Gligar/Gliscor (G, C, HG)/Skarmory (S, C, SS), Murkrow/Honchkrow, Jumpluff, Xatu

Optional Pokémon: Dodrio, Pidgeot, Spearow, Mantine (G, C, HG), Crobat, Yanma/Yanmega, Scyther

First Pokémon: Pidgey and Hoothoot via Route 29 before the first gym. Pidgey, Doduo, Spearow, Hoothoot, Murkrow, Zubat, and Dratini available via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? Yes, regardless of your version

Ghost

Ideal Team: Haunter

First Pokémon: Gastly via Sprout Tower (or at night at Route 30 in Pokémon Crystal) before the first gym; Gastly can also be caught on the Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? No, Ghost and Dark not neutralized

Grass

Ideal Team: Meganium, Jumpluff, Victreebel/Vileplume, Exeggutor, Parasect, Tangela/Tangrowth

First Pokémon: Chikorita via starter

Covers Weaknesses? No, Flying, Ice, and Fire are not neutralized.

Ground

Ideal Team: Quagsire, Dugtrio, Rhydon, Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Mammoswine/Piloswine, Gligar/Gliscor (G, C, HG)

Optional Pokémon: Graveler, Onix, Donphan (G, C, HG), Sandslash (G, C, HG or by slotmachines in S and SS)

First Pokémon: Geodude, via the southern route of Route 46 before the first gym or Geodude, Onix, the Nidorans, and Wooper via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? Regardless of your version, all weaknesses are covered

Ice

Ideal Team: Piloswine/Mammoswine, Lapras, Dewgong, Cloyster, Jynx, Delibird (S, C, SS)

First Pokémon: Lapras in Union Cave after the fourth gym or Smoochum and Shelldar in Pokewalker

Covers Weaknesses? Surprisingly yes

Normal

Ideal Team: Pidgeot, Stantler, Dodrio, Girafarig, Miltank, Tauros

Optional Pokémon: Urasaring (S, C, SS), Fearow, Noctowl, Kangaskhan (via Pokewalker), Lickitung, Ambipom (HG, SS), Persian

First Pokémon: Pidgey, Rattata, Sentret, and Hoothoot via Route 29 before the first gym. Kangaskhan, Doduo, and Spearow via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

Poison

Ideal Team: Haunter, Venomoth, Tentacruel, Victreebel/Vileplume, Crobat, Nidoking/Nidoqueen

Optional Pokémon: Muk, Weezing, Arbok, Ariados (G, C, HG)

First Pokémon: Weedle (S, C, SS) or Spinarak (G, C, HG) in Route 30. You can also get Grimer, Koffing, Tentacool, Gastly, Zubat, Venonat, Oddish, and the Nidorans on the Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? No, Psychic is not neutralized.

Psychic

Ideal Team: Espeon, Exeggutor, Girafarig, Xatu, Jynx, Starmie/Slowbro

Optional Pokémon: Lugia (S and SS), Kadabra, Hypno, Wobbufett

First Pokémon: Slowpoke at the Slowpoke Well before the second gym. Abra, Wobbufett, Slowpoke, Smoochum, and Staryu via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? No, Dark is not neutralized

Rock

Ideal Team: Graveler, Rhydon, Shuckle, Sudowoodo, Corsola, Onix

First Pokémon: Geodude via southern portion of Route 46 before the first gym, or Geodude and Onix via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

Steel

Ideal Team: Magneton, Forretress, Skarmory (S, C, SS)

First Pokémon: Pineco via headbutting trees after the second gym or Magnemite via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? No, Fire is not neutralized

Water

Ideal Team: Feraligatr, Gyarados, Quagsire, Slowbro/Starmie, Tentacruel, Lanturn

Optional Pokémon: Lapras/Dewgong/Cloyster, Vaporeon, Seaking, Golduck, Azumarill, Kingler, Corsola, Poliwrath, Octillery (S, G, HG, SS), Mantine (G, C, HG)

First Pokémon: Totodile via starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

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The Rooster Talisman: there since the Beginning

Happy Year of the Rooster!  To celebrate the occasion, let’s once again check out the Rooster Talisman in the Kids WB cartoon series, Jackie Chan Adventures.  The Rooster Talisman (which bestows Levitation powers to the user) is special as it was the first Talisman seen and premiered in the first episode of the series!  Looking back at this episode, I can’t help but be amused how different the show was compared to later seasons such as the rougher character designs and an overall awkward pace.  You can tell the creators were trying to figure out what kind of show Jackie Chan Adventures was going to be.

image from jackie chan adventures wiki

image from jackie chan adventures wiki

But enough about the show, let’s talk about the Rooster Talisman!  Unlike our previous two talismans, the Rooster was prominently used throughout the show, even in episodes where it was not the focal point (a big example being Jade’s battle with the Sky Demon).  It’s now hard to understand why either.  The Rooster Talisman is simply useful.  The power to levitate yourself (and other objects) would’ve solved a world of problems for our heroes had it not been for Jackie’s reluctance to use the Talismans.

This was also one of the best episodes in the series as well.  The Rooster and Rabbit Talismans were just icing on the cake.  Image from the Jackie Chan Adventures wiki

This was also one of the best episodes in the series as well. The Rooster and Rabbit Talismans were just icing on the cake. Image from the Jackie Chan Adventures wiki

The Rooster Talisman has been a constant presence in the series for reasons you may actually not realize.  Okay, so in season 3 when Jackie blew up the Talismans, the Rooster Talisman possessed its noble animal, Eggbert, a rooster that lived in Malaysia and later moved to Kansas.  Eggbert was subsequently paired up with the Pig Talisman’s noble animal, Mordecai.  These two were the best as Eggbert just flew Mordecai around while he caused havoc with his laser eyes.  Now, this episode was one of the few times Jackie Chan an co. lost to Daolon Wong as he absorbed both powers with his freaky mouth hands.  In subsequent episodes, up to the climax of season 3, Daolon Wong frequently used his newfound levitation and heat beam eye powers to his advantage.  I like this a lot actually as Daolon Wong becomes a bigger threat unlike season 1 where the Dark Hand barely used their talismans.  That wasn’t the last of Eggbert though as he and Moredecai were infrequent guests to the show in later episodes such as “The Amazing T-Troop” and “The Powers That Be.”

Luckily, when push comes to shove the Talismans will be used as a last resort.  These instances don’t happen too often though and that’s what makes those episodes great.  Some of the special ones include the awesome Talisman battle in Season 2’s “The J-Team,” the Talisman vs Demon battle in Season 2’s “The Demon World,” and the battle against the Oni Generals in Season 4’s “Ninja Twilight.”  The Rooster Talisman’s insane usefulness combined with the show underplaying them means that every time we see someone use it, we’re in for a good time.

Happy Year of the Rooster!

Godzilla in Hell: Review and Analysis

There are few things in life that equal the ridiculous concept of Godzilla in Hell. Yet, this concept is the foundation of a wonderful comic miniseries that tells the story of Godzilla as he traverses through the different circles of Hell. When I first heard about this series I immediately was intrigued and wanted to learn everything I could about this comic book series.   When Christmas came, I finally got the chance to get the complete volume as published by IDW. And the result? I love it. It wasn’t what I expected and that’s what makes it good. Godzilla in Hell’s risky departure from the normal, Monster-of-the-Week formula, makes this series a must read for fans of the Big G.

Image from issue 1. Art done by James Stokoe.

Unfortunately, those looking for a straight-forward narration similar to Godzilla and the Fifty Year War (done by James Stokoe who also penned the first issue in Godzilla in Hell) will be disappointed as narration is kept to a minimum, if at all, and some issues have many pages completely devoid of dialogue. As such, the reader shoulders a great deal of interpretation that would otherwise be spoon fed to him. This lack of exposition makes the series strong as I feel a word-by-word explanation of Hell would only detract from the experience and not enhance the other worldly feel of this abysmal world.

Each issue is also done by a different artist and as such we see radical shifts in styles throughout the series.   The aforementioned lack of dialogue means the artists are given almost free reign over the pages without worrying too much about spacing problems. Whole pages are dedicated to scenery and battles and it’s amazing. Stokoe’s Godzilla still looks good as usual but I have to give a hand to Eggleton’s Godzilla as his issue is entirely painted and he makes a damn fine looking Godzilla.

Image from Issue 2. Art done by Bob Eggleton.

The multitude of artists leads to the most interesting thing about Godzilla in Hell and that’s the self-contained stories in each issue. Rather than one continuous arc, the miniseries is comprised of many tales that you could easily interpret as stand alone rather than interlocking. It strikes me as the old epics in literature like the Odyssey; here is another tale of Godzilla and his never-ending journey through Hell. This further lends fuel to the reader’s interpretation fire and allows us to enjoy Godzilla in Hell in a variety of ways.

With only five issues, I can’t help but analyze each of them and try to understand what the artist was trying to convey to the reader and what it means overall. In issue one, we are given a snapshot of Godzilla’s initial fall to Hell. The silence of the fall and the impact lends to the eeriness of the setting. Philip Glass’ opus Koyanassqui plays in the background in my head as I watch the King of Monsters recover and set forth. After Godzilla blows up Hell’s famous entrance sign, he encounters an avalanche of naked people who swarm him like an immense tidal wave. Are these the souls of the damned? Or souls whom Godzilla has killed in the living world? I think it’s the latter as they form a splitting image of Godzilla himself before transforming into a demonic-being that is a cross between Godzilla and Biollante. In a way, this weird monster reminds me of Shin Godzilla and how the collective power of Humanity was able to stop him and not some giant monster. Unfortunately, for this monster, Godzilla destroyed it with one mighty blast and moved forward on his journey.

The return of Rodan, Ghidorah, Anguirus, and Varan highlights the painted issue two. Demons now posses Rodan and Anguirus who now reside in Hell for eternity. Eggleton cleverly references their origin stories as Rodan first appearance was from a volcano while Anguirus’ was trapped in ice. Since Godzilla did not kill either of them (or Varan) I would wager he recognized them and did not want to kills their incarnations

image provided by snappow.com

image provided by snappow.com.  From Issue 3, art done by Buster Moody.

Issue three reveals how Godzilla fell to Hell in the first place and it’s probably the most fascinating chapter of the five although the other chapters give it a run for its money. I had to read the chapter twice before I realized that Godzilla actually went to Heaven first before he rejected it and was sent to Hell in response. In fact, it took me awhile to realize that the angel’s wings were similar to Mothra’s! In Godzilla lore, this makes a lot of sense considering Mothra is basically the Earth’s Guardian.

There’s a quote from the epic poem “Paradise Lost” that I’m sure issue three parodies which goes “Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.” Unlike virtually all mortal beings, Godzilla has the power to reject Heaven and in response, Heaven sends Godzilla down to Hell. Yet after he defeats Space Godzilla, he rejects ruling Hell as well. As such, Godzilla takes a third, unscripted option that stuns the denizens of both worlds. Better to live on Earth.

I just love these issues as they are all so different in style and tone. Wonderful as they are, issue four stands above the rest as Godzilla finally meets his match through his arch nemeses King Ghidorah and Destroyah in a Hellish version of Tokyo. As much as I love the previous issue, Godzilla never faced a total sense of doom, depression, hopelessness and torment. Sure, he may have had problems with the Lust monster or Space Godzilla, but he prevailed nonetheless in relatively short battles. Issue four changes that and gives us scenes of constant battle. Scenes of Godzilla fighting and killing Ghidorah and Destroyah again and again. Scenes of Godzilla killed again and again. And scenes of Godzilla trying to break through the wall in vain again and again. We have seen Godzilla in Hell but never Godzilla in his own Hell.

Godzilla is truly a force to be reckon with but to finally find something that stops him is unbelievable. I would argue that this issue, and not issue five, truly tests Godzilla’s spirit. With no narration, we are unsure how long Godzilla has suffered. Months? Years? Godzilla’s eternal damnation may be similar to Dante’s version of Hell where the passing of time is inconsequential; it’s happening for now and forever. As such, I can’t help but applaud Godzilla’s escape; he broke through eternity. And as Godzilla leaves his Hell, Destroyah and Ghidorah, mere tools of his damnation, slowly disappear along with the faux-city of Tokyo.

Image from Issue 5.  Art by Dave Wachter

Image from Issue 5. Art by Dave Wachter

In the final issue, Godzilla has to climb an incomprehensibly steep and tall mountain where he can finally escape Hell. Out of all the issues, this one is the hardest to interpret. Why does Godzilla’s atomic breath fail? What is the giant monster on top of the gate? Why do the winged demons reform into Godzilla after eating him (and why do they all now have eyeballs) and why can they now release a full atomic blast? Although I can’t answer all of these questions, what I can suggest is that Godzilla’s indomitable spirit and will to succeed has brought him back from the dead and made him stronger.

Questions aside, this is a gorgeous looking issue. I love the lighting effects and the predominance of black and red. I feel like issue five’s Hell is like an abyss, devoid of light but not devoid of action. The lightning in the clouds was done rather well and the formidable mountain looked foreboding. This contrasts amazingly well with the last panel of Godzilla escaping Hell and he’s released onto the surface of the Earth, breaking through the ocean and taking his first breath of freedom. Godzilla never looked so content.

Overall, Godzilla in Hell is a great comic and I recommend all Godzilla fans to read it. It’s a different take for the King of All Monsters and it works well. Check it out.

Best Pokemon Types for a Single Type Run in Sun and Moon

When Pokémon Sun and Moon was released I wanted to do another Single Type Run (or Monotype Run) analysis on these games similar to my earlier article on previous generations. The purpose of this project was to determine which types were the best for a Single Type Run in Pokémon Sun and Moon? With just two games to tackle, this question is easier to answer than before however, I had to change my setup as Trials and Kahunas were added and Gym Leaders were removed. I had to tackle this problem a little differently but I think I succeeded. If you want to find out what a team of Bug or Psychic Pokémon would be like in Pokémon Sun and Moon just scroll down past these next few paragraphs and find that type.

Image from pokemon.com

RULES: As in my last article, a Single Type Run assumes you don’t trade (so no Golem or Alakazam for instance) to yourself on Pokémon Bank or to other players. If you’re doing a run like Electric, you must capture the first available Electric Pokémon (Pichu) and box your starter. You may capture a Pokémon that will evolve into a certain type (like Pichu for a Psychic-type run) but you must evolve it asap. Only Pokémon that can be caught before the Elite Four are counted (so no Lucario).

So overall, how did Sun and Moon do compared to earlier games? Unfortunately, although Sun/Moon provides players with a diverse set of Pokémon fairly early on, these games are worse at covering weaknesses than XY (but roughly the same as ORAS). XY scored 32 out of 36 (18 types times two games) for neutralizing cover as opposed to SM’s 25 out of 36. Mind you, this is still pretty good when compared to other generation-premiere games as the next best is Ruby/Sapphire with a score of 16 out of 34.

What types did better in these games?

image from bulbagarden.net

image from bulbagarden.net

Right off the bat, the two types that benefited the most were Fairy and Ghost. This is the first time we have starters that evolve into those types. This combined with their neutral coverage makes them great types for a Single Type Run. This is one of the few times a Ghost-type run has neutral coverage so I urge you to try it out here. Also, you can catch a plethora of Ghost Pokémon on the first island including Drifloon, Gastly, Misdreavus, and Sableye; great Pokémon that will go far with you. Fairy types received a nice, mix bag of Pokémon such as Klefki’s weakness neutralization and Primarina and Mimikyu serving as back up.

I would argue that Sun and Moon are probably the best Pokémon games for an Ice-type run. You can get a Crabrawler somewhat early and from there you can get a Delibird and a Shellder and then an Eevee on Aklala Island. The biggest thing to consider is your Sandslash and Ninetales exclusives. Both of which neutralize certain weaknesses (Rock, Steel and Fighting respectively) but other Pokémon can cover them so it’s not a do-or-die situation. The biggest drawback is many of your powerhouses won’t be available until RIGHT before the Elite Four so that’s too bad.

I need to mention Fire type as well but only for Sun. There’s been only one game in the history of Pokémon where Fire’s weaknesses are neutralized and that’s Pokémon Black. Sun has offered a second chance at a fun Fire-type run thanks primarily to the Sun-exclusive Turtonator. It will still be a difficult run but fun nonetheless.

Electric, usually an okay type for a Single Type Run, is blessed with neutral coverage AND an early-available Pokémon via Pichu. Both of these things do not happen often for Electric, much less when they are together. If you’ve been holding out for a good Electric-type game, now’s the chance to try it out with such picks as Magnezone, Vikavolt, Eelektross (scan), and the Alolan variants of Graveler and Raichu.

Finally, we have our usual types that do well for a Single Type Run such as Water, Normal, Steel and so forth.  In particular, Water is probably the best type in Pokemon Sun and Moon for a Single Type Run.  A huge diversity combined with a great starter makes Water Type stand above the rest.  From Gyarados to Aquachnid, from Slowbro to Gastrodon, Sun and Moon gave us a type that can fill many rolls (special defense, physical attacker, status inflictor) and is there with us from the beginning.

What types did worse in these games?

image from bulbagarden.net

As expected, some types took a hit and aren’t as efficient in a Single Type Run as in previous games. For instance, it takes a looooong time before you get a Rock Pokémon so that’s a big disadvantage. Bug’s probably the biggest loser here though as it’s great recent record has finally been broken with glaring weaknesses to Rock attacks. This isn’t to say that a Bug-type run is bad as you still get a lot of new and interesting Pokémon to work with such as Golisopod or Vikavolt, but you’ll have to work hard to make sure you aren’t being torn apart by hikers.

Fighting type also took a hit due to FINALLY losing a starter that gains it as a secondary type. It takes awhile before you catch your first Fighting Pokémon (Crabrawler) and your team will have to watch out for Flying Pokémon (usually, a Lucario would watch your back in previous games but not this time around, they’re available after the Elite Four).

Types

Bug

Ideal Team: Vikavolt, Golisopod/Aquachnid, Romblebee, Parasect, Masquerain, Scolipede (scan)

First Pokémon: Caterpie, Ledyba, and Spinarak via Route 1

Cover weaknesses? No, Rock is not neutralized.

 

Dark

Ideal Team: Incineroar, Sabeleye, Hydregion (scan), Honchkrow, Muk, Pangoro

Optional: Krookodile, Absol, Weavile, Raticate, Sharpedo

First Pokémon: Litten via Starter

Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Dragon

Ideal Team: Salamence, Komomo-o, Garchomp, Hydreigon (scan), Exeggutor, Drampa (moon)/Turtonator (sun)

Optional: Flygon, Haxorus (scan), Goodra

First Pokémon: Bagon via Route 3

Cover weaknesses? Nope, Dragon is not neutralized in both versions and Fairy is not neutralized in Moon.

 

Electric

Ideal Team: Vikavolt, Graveler, Magnezone, Eelektross(scan), Raichu, Oricorio

Optional: Electivire, Togedemaru, Jolteon, Lanturn

First Pokémon: Pichu via Route 1

Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Fairy

Ideal Team: Primarina, Klefki, Whimsicott/Shiinotic, Mimikyu, Wigglytuff, Togekiss (scan)

Optional: Sylveon, Granbul, Ninetales, Carbink, Ribombee, Azumaril (scan)

First Pokémon: Popplio via Starter

Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Fighting

Ideal Team: Crabominable, Emboar (scan), Poliwrath, Bewear, Kommo-o, Pangoro

Optional: Primeape, Passimian (sun), Hariyama

First Pokémon: Crabrawler via Berry Fields

Cover weaknesses? No, Flying is not neutralized

 

Fire

Ideal Team: Incineroar, Arcanine/Turtonator(sun), Talonflame, Salazzle, Marowak, Emboar (scan)

Optional: Flareon, Chandelure (scan)

First Pokémon: Litten via Starter

Cover weaknesses? Only in Sun thanks to Turtonator. In Moon, Water is not neutralized.

 

Flying

Ideal Team: Toucannon, Gyarados, Drifblim, Aerodactyl, Salamence, Skarmory

Optional: Braviary(sun)/Mandibuzz(moon), Crobat, Talonflame, Masquerain, Honchkrow, Minior, Togekiss (scan)

First Pokémon: Rowlett via Starter

Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Ghost

Ideal Team: Decidueye, Sableye, Palossand, Aegislash(scan), Marowak, Mimikyu

Optional: Trevanant, Dhelmise, Froslass, Drifblim, Haunter, Chandelure (scan), Mismagius

First Pokémon: Rowlett via Starter

Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Grass

Ideal Team: Decidueye, Whimsicott, Parasect, Exeggutor, Roserade (scan), Dhelmise

Optional: Victreebel (scan)

First Pokémon: Rowlet via Starter

Cover weaknesses? No, Ice and Flying are not neutralized.

 

Ground

Ideal Team: Dugtrio, Gastrodon, Mamoswine (scan), Palossand, Krookodile, Garchomp

Optional: Mudsdale, Flygon, Rhydon (scan)

First Pokémon: Diglett in Verdant Cavern after completion of first trial

Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Ice

Ideal Team: Froslass, Weavile, Sandslash(sun)/Ninetales (moon), Mamoswine (scan), Cloyster/Lapras/Walrein(scan), Crabominable

Optional: Delibird, Glaceon

First Pokémon: Crabrawler via berry patches in Berry Fields on Melemele Island

Cover weaknesses? Surprisingly yes regardless of version differences.

 

Normal

Ideal Team: Toucannon, Tauros/Drampa (Moon), Snorlax, Wigglytuff, Bewear, Oranguru (moon)/Miltank

Optional: Raticate, Blissey

First Pokémon: Yungoos and Pikipek via Route 1

Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Poison

Ideal Team: Muk, Scolipede(scan)/Ariados, Crobat, Tentacruel/Toxapex, Salazzle, Roserade (scan)

Optional: Haunter, Victreebel (scan)

First Pokémon: Grimer near the Trainer School

Cover weaknesses? Heck yes.

 

Psychic

Ideal Team: Oranguru, Slowbro/Starmie, Espeon, Metagross, Oricorio, Raichu

Optional: Hypno, Kadabra, Bruxish

First Pokémon: Pichu via Route 1

Cover weaknesses? Nope, Dark is not neutralized.

 

Rock

Ideal Team: Carbink, Rhydon(scan), Graveler, Aerodactyl, Corsola/Relicanth/Caracosta(sun), Bastiodon(moon)/Probopass

Optional: Lycanroc, Sudowoodo, Rampardos (sun), Archeops (moon)

First Pokémon: Roggenrola at Ten Carat Hill

Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Steel

Ideal Team: Metagross, Skarmory, Magnezone, Dugtrio, Bastiodon(moon)/Probopass, Aegislash (scan)

Optional Pokémon: Sandslash (sun), Togedemaru, Klefki

First Pokémon: Magnemite near the Trainer School

Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Water

Ideal Team: Primarina, Gyarados, Slowbro/Starmie/Bruxish, Gastrodon, Cloyster/Lapras/Walrein(scan), Golisopod/Aquachnid,

Optional: Whiscash, Poliwrath, Milotic, Lanturn, Sharpedo, Corsola/Relicanth/Caracosta(sun), Azumaril (scan)

First Pokémon: Popplio via Starter

Cover weaknesses? Yes

Break the Ice (or how to improve the fragile Ice Type in Pokemon)

Over the past few Pokémon generations, Gamefreak continuously tweaked and balanced Pokémon to the point that weak types (like Poison) were strengthened while other types (like Fighting) were checked.  New moves, abilities, and stat changes made weak or irrelevant Pokémon respectful.  But through it all, one type has remained virtually unchanged since Generation 2 and that’s the Ice type.

The Ice type is notorious for its great offensive lineup but abysmal defense.   The only type it resists is itself and it’s weak to Fire, Fighting, Rock, and Steel moves.  Keep in mind, Fighting, Fire, and Rock moves are plentiful due to the plethora of Pokémon that can learn them.  As such, many hardcore players favor fast, hard hitting Ice Pokémon, like Weavile, if they want to use them at all.  Meanwhile, defensive Ice Pokémon, like Avalugg or Cryogonal, can not fully live up to their tank desires.  Personally, I usually train dual-typed Ice Pokémon to mitigate their poor defenses.

Ice Pokémon as such, are in desperate need for an upgrade.  Gamefreak needs to fully realize this type and bring it into the fold as a well-rounded type.  But how can Gamefreak do that?  In order to answer this question I decided to do a quick analysis of all 18 types of Pokémon and determined which types could be nerfed in order to advance Ice Pokémon.

In short, I compared each types Super Effective (SE) to Not Very Effective (NVE) ratios for both offense and defense.  Some types are better defenders than attackers (e.g., Poison and Steel) while others are vice versa (e.g., Ground and Rock).  In our case, we want to up Ice type’s defense to be on par with the average type.  At the same time, however, we want to ensure that other types aren’t severely nerfed.  After a lot of tinkering, pondering and calculating, here’s what I came up with.

Changes to Ice Type

Steel normally damages Ice

Ice resists Ground

Ice resists Ghost

Hail boosts Ice Type’s defense by 50%

 

This may surprise some of you for my choices so I’ll break it down why I chose these types to improve Ice.  First off, Steel can just get out of here!  Steel is the best defensive type in the game, period.  As such, Steel does not need to be SE against three different types.  I love how Steel is powerful against Fairy as that really plays into the mythical history of fairies and forged weapons.  But Ice???  I don’t honestly see why it’s SE unless you’re a snowplow.  There are plenty of types out there that are only SE against two types such as Electric, Dark, and Poison so we can shove Steel into that category.

Ice losing its Steel weakness does not majorly affect Ice as Steel moves aren’t that common as mainly Steel Pokémon use them.  Plus, as mentioned before, Rock, Fire, and Fighting are very common moves so you can easily use these types to take down Ice (Steel Pokémon also commonly learn Rock moves).

Speaking of common attacking types, let’s talk about Ground!  Ice is already SE against Ground so it wouldn’t be surprising if Ice gained a resistance towards them as well.  Sooooo many type combos have this relationship including the famous precedent of Fire-Grass-Water.  Ground and Ice should be similar.  Ground also has the best SE to NVE ratio out of all the types being SE against five types with only two types resisting and a third with immunity.  I ask the court to look at Fighting for my justification as well.  Fighting has five SE and six NVE/immune defending types.  An added resistance would still not place Ground on the same level as Fire.  In short, Ice’s resistance towards Ground would not hugely impact Ground’s usefulness.

Which comes to my final type change, Ice resisting Ghost.  After I decided Ice should resist Ground I was debating whether to even add another resistance.  After all, the Ice Type is a GREAT offensive type.  It’s SE against Dragon, Grass, Flying, and Ground.  A great mixture that leads to quite a few 4x weaknesses.  When compared to other types, Ice is above average when it comes to attacking.  As such, Ice should still be below average when it comes to defense.  But here’s the thing, quite a few types have four or more resistances so having a third resistance would still place Ice in the below-average category.  But which type?

When I first started this project, I leaned heavy towards an Electric resistance as ice in real life conducts electricity rather poorly.  Electric also only has one weakness.  However, Electric already has a rather poor showing in the attacking category as only two types are weak to it whereas three resist and one is immune to it.  I eventually chose Ghost as only Normal and Dark can counter it.  Plus, when Gen VI rolled around, Gamefreak removed Steel’s resistance of Ghost giving it a mild boost.  As such, I don’t think it would harm Ghost that much if Ice gained a resistance out of it.

BTW, what’s the logic behind Ice resisting Ghost?  Well, I kind of feel like it would counter the shiver people get when their scared.  Since Ice types are already cold, they can’t shiver like Ghost Pokémon would want them to, hence, they resist Ghost attacks.

Finally, let’s talk about the weather!  Back in Gen V, weather teams were all the rage.  Thanks to the like of Hippowdon, Ninetales, Politoed, and Tyranitar, weather effects on the battlefield were common except for Hail.  Snow Stream may benefit Ice Type’s and their abilities but that’s about it.  Even Sandstorm gave Rock Pokémon a 50% boost in their special defense.  Why can’t we say the same thing about Hail?  With this addition, Ice Pokémon can “weather” out attacks and stay strong on the battlefield.

Who benefits the most out of this?

Obviously all Ice Pokémon would rejoice if they were to hear these news but these changes would benefit some Pokémon more than others specifically…

Defensive Ice Pokémon

Avalugg, Cloyster, and Cryogonal would now shine in their tanky roles.  Cloyster was already an effective tank but it had to use its Water typing to get an edge.  With this update, Cloyster now resists five types and is weak to four.  Cloyster can be used as an effective check towards such Pokémon as Scizor, Aegislash, and Excadrill.

Alolan Sandslash, fresh off of Sun and Moon, would benefit nicely as well with its 120 defense power.  A Ground weakness is now neutralized leaving a 4x weakness to Fire and Fighting.  This adds up Sandslash’s resistances and immunities to 11, a fantastic, defensive Pokémon.

Thick Fat Users

Thick Fat is an ability that halves damage from Ice and Fire attacks.  Dewgong, Mamoswine, and Walrein all have this ability which helps them tremendously.  The updated Ice Type would definitely benefit them especially Mamoswine.  Now, a Thick Fat Mamoswine would resist four types, be immune to one and be weak to three.  Mamoswine could finally be a decent switch-in against many Pokémon including prominent Ground and Steel types.

Former Ghost-weakness

Froslass and Jynx would now be one of the few Ghost and Psychic Pokémon that have normal resistance to their dreaded Ghost foes.  I feel like Froslass, with its average stats, would profit the most out of the two by gaining some sweet advantages.  Froslass can now Shadow Ball her Ghost comrades and serve as a decent counter to the likes of Golurk, Palossand, and Aegislash.  This is not to say that Jynx wouldn’t benefit as well as now she can serve as an effective status inflictor and a by-the-books offensive sweeper.

Hail users

We saved the best for last.  With a 50% boost in defense in Hail, Ice Pokémon can now become tough-as-nails in their weather.  Plus, many Ice Pokémon have abilities that directly benefit from Hail including Snow Cloak, Ice Body, and Slush Rush.

Let’s start first with Abomasnow.  Ice Pokémon hail their pine tree bro as he gets the party started with his sweet Snow Warning ability!  Abomasnow would be a great switch in to Rain Dance/Sandstorm teams as he could withstand oncoming Ground and Water attacks and dish out a 100% accurate Blizzard (plus it doesn’t hurt that he can Mega evolve).  After you got a decent Hailstorm brewing start throwing in your tanky Ice types to sow anger and discontent among your foes.  Ice Body users like Glaceon and Avalugg will be blessed by their increased defenses while a Walrein with Leftovers would be extraordinarily difficult to take down.

This scenario will make Hail a now viable weather scenario that could be taken seriously among hardcore players.  Hail would still not be as popular as Sandstorm and alike but at least it would be treated respectfully.

 

Could this ever happen?  It’s hard to say in all honesty.  Gamefreak’s continuous modification to Pokémon means anything’s on the table.  Maybe Ice wouldn’t gain these respective resistances but a new type could shake things up and make Ice defensively viable.  Granted, this probably won’t happen until the next Generation which would be awhile and that’s fine.  But until then, fingers crossed!

 

All images from pokemon wiki

Battlebots Season 2 Finale Prediction

Despite the long break between the two Sweet Sixteen episodes, I heartily enjoyed many of the battles that we saw although there were a few unfortunate duds. Amazingly, we get a season finale this week!!!  We don’t have to wait another week!  This is a nice surprise from ABC given we had to wait quite awhile sometimes between episodes.  Hopefully, this upcoming episode will give us many fantastic battles that we can scream and whoop at!

Battlebots Season 2 Elite Eight

 

Let’s take a look at the Elite Eight before I dive into my predictions. First off, my guesses in the last round were surprisingly not too bad as five out of the eight matches I envisioned correctly (Biteforce, Nightmare, and Hypershock betray me…). Biteforce’s loss eliminates another high seed from the tournament as only three of the top eight seeds remain while two remain of the top four. Poison Arrow stands out big time from the Elite Eight with its whoppingly low 27 seed. To be fair though, unlike some other bots, Poison Arrow deserves his Elite Eight spot thanks to taking down Whyachi and upsetting the drone-killing bot, Hypershock. The commentators noted how Yeti was the dark horse of this tournament but I honestly lean towards Poison Arrow as the “bot that could.”

Of the eight remaining, three are drum spinners, one is a horizontal spinner, one is a launcher, two are hammerbots, and one is multi-functional. This is definitely the year of the drum spinners as all three drum spinners (Poison Arrow, Minotaur, and Yeti) have survived the Sweet Sixteen with great wins from each of these robots. There’s also a decent chance that all three of these will again progress to the Final Four given their opponent matchup. Notably absent are the vertical spinners which we had six in the Sweet Sixteen and all of them lost. These robots lost due to weapon loss, dismantling, or inability to fight and it’s pretty unlucky that none of them survived.

Before we go to the predictions, I decided to approach things differently and instead did a simple table to see who would win if every robot fought another robot. After going over the scenarios in my head, I then made a list of robots going from most likely to win to least likely to win. Here’s the results.

  1. Bronco 7-0

image from battlebots.com

My confidence in Bronco has only increased as this season progresses. Out of all the veteran teams, Team Bronco has played it the most safe by modifying (and not outright revamping like Biteforce) their robot to cover their weaknesses without sacrificing their robot’s identity. Bronco’s behind can take hits like a champ and if any robot tries to ride Bronco he just bucks them off! Bronco’s durability will come into play big time against his match against Minotaur. I predict that Bronco’s ass will get a face full of steel but he can withstand it and toss him around the Battlebox. In all honesty, if Bronco wins against Minotaur then he wins the tournament. He will face down his rival Tombstone again in the championship but this time, he will win.

  1. Minotaur 6-1

I wasn’t kidding when I said Minotaur v Bronco is the match to watch out for in the Elite Eight. This match will decide who will be victorious in Battlebots. If Minotaur beats Bronco then any other robot doesn’t stand a chance, including Tombstone. If Minotaur were to face down Tombstone, he can out maneuver this deadly robot and chew up his vulnerable spots. Minotaur’s spinning drum is also likely the strongest drum in the tournament so if he were to collide with Yeti or Poison Arrow, both could explode due to the immense force behind that weapon.

  1. Tombstone 5-2

Tombstone will very likely go to the final round as so many of his strong competitors, mainly Stinger and Biteforce, have been knocked out. I honestly feel that some of his supposed opponents, like Chomp, got to the Elite Eight more out of luck than fighting skill but I could be severely underestimating them again. Regardless, he will chew through whoever he faces, including Yeti and face either Minotaur or Bronco in the championship; either of which he will lose to.

  1. BETA 4-3

Truth be told, I worry about BETA’s chances as his fight against Nightmare looked to do some serious damage to his hammering mechanism. He might be limping into his next fight, Tombstone, and that’s not good. Unlike Chomp (sorry) my respect for this newcomer with a seemingly faulty weapon has gone up. Can BETA deliver another upset against one of the most deadly robots of all time? It’s doubtful but I will say that if he can pull off an upset, he would likely win against either Chomp or Yeti. Rewatching some of BETA’s bouts has brightened my outlook on this robot and his gigantic hammer. I’m pretty sure this hammer’s so powerful that he can smash Chomp and Yeti (and Poison Arrow and Bombshell if he somehow faces them in the final round). Good luck, once again, BETA!

  1. Yeti 3-4

Now, just because I have Yeti so low on the list does not mean I don’t like him, far from it! I love this spunky, dexterous robot! And I’m also willing to bet Yeti’s sponsors (if that’s a thing in Battlebots, I’m not sure) will go up and make sure this battlebot will get the necessary spare parts needed for another run next season. But we have to focus on the here and now and so, Yeti is in a tough situation. How far can Yeti’s luck last? Well, it’s a good thing he’s fighting Chomp as that is a robot Yeti definitely can take on. If Yeti wins, Yeti might then out maneuver Tombstone and deliver some good hits. Unfortunately, I don’t see a rosy future for Yeti after that as I’m sure Bronco or Minotaur will knock him out. We’ll see. Good luck, dark horse!

  1. Poison Arrow 2-5

Poison Arrow is another robot I now respect but had to put him low on the rankings. Poison Arrow will more than likely defeat Bombshell thanks to their crazy spinning drum but after that they’ll have to fight Bronco or Minotaur and that’s reaaaaalllly bad.   I think Bronco could tank PA’s hits while Minotaur will just laugh at this spunky robot and tear him asunder. Sorry.

  1. Chomp 1-6

I’m sorry, Chomp’s win against Biteforce did not gain my appreciation. True, true, true, Chomp hit some good, well-aimed hits but besides that, Chomp’s worse enemy seems to be herself because of her instability. Though in all honesty, what do I know!?! I keep predicting Chomp to lose and she keeps winning! If she wins the tournament I’ll be flabbergasted. The only opponent I think Chomp has a chance against would be Bombshell who has so many open parts that I think Chomp could deliver a winning pierce against it. Besides that, Chomp is fighting Yeti and then, very likely, Tombstone, both of which have a history of dismantling their opponents. If Chomp wins (and an honest-to-good win mind you) perhaps my opinions on her will change.

  1. Bombshell 0-7

Bombshell is perhaps the only robot in the tournament that has lost my respect. His abysmal win against Red Devil was sad, I mean, what was that?? If Bombshell has any hopes to win they should switch to either their axe (against Poison Arrow/Minotaur) or their horizontal spinner. The horizontal spinner seems the most effective weapon they have but I’m not sure if it would be good against Poison Arrow. Bombshell could be this year’s Ghost Raptor so they may reach the Final Four yet, just don’t expect them to go much further than that…

 

That’s it for now!  IT’S ROBOT FIGHTING TIME!  SEASON 2 FINALE!!!

The Many Incarnations of Bane

Throughout the history of entertainment, mankind has seen their favorite characters told again and again through different voices, different media, and different times. Such stories as Alice in Wonderland, Sherlock Holmes, and Wizard of Oz are great examples of how these characters have been interpreted for more than a century. In particular, Batman, and his gallery of foes, have probably seen the most iterations out of any character in human history.

The irony of it all is that while Batman remains (relatively) unchanged, his foes can vary wildly. In some universes, Poison Ivy is an ordinary person and in others she has supernatural powers. Oswald Cobblepot is a rich underworld boss or a poor thief and Killer Croc’s disease ranges from mild to severe. These changes neatly reflect each incarnation’s universe whether they be realistic (Christopher Nolan), goofy (Adam West), or ridiculous (Gotham).

As such, I wanted to explore these different facets of the same character and understand their transformation throughout the years. What has stayed the same and what has changed. What makes that character who they are and ultimately which is the best incarnation? With so many versions, I decided to just stick to the ones that I could readily access and were featured prominently in their respective media.

For my first character, let’s explore the man that broke the Bat.


Bane

Despite being a relatively new foe (~25 years), Bane quickly found himself in Batman’s top rogues gallery since his debut in the infamous comic, Knightfall. In this comic, Bane had systematically broke both Batman’s spirit and spine in a long series of issues that led to a climatic battle in the Batcave. If there was a Top 20 moments in Batman’s history, this would surely be in there.

The thing is, Bane has something that few of Batman’s enemies can bolster, mainly, a high intelligence matched with brute strength and an uncomfortable calmness. And I would be reprimanded if I didn’t talk about Venom. Bane’s Venom probably attracts a lot of fans to this character as it makes him all the more menacing to the point of ridiculous. Even without Venom, Bane is an incredible foe and can (almost) match Batman in hand-to-hand combat.

Unfortunately, after Knightfall, Bane had reached his apogee. From there, Batman recovered, triumphed over Bane and Bane went into hiding, never achieving his former glory again.

Unlike Batman’s other foes, I honestly think the best Bane incarnation is his first one in Knightfall. Everything that makes Bane great was spelled out magnificently in those comic pages. From there, other creators have only tweaked, and sometimes downgraded, Bane into a shadow of his former self. There has yet to be, to my knowledge, a major character upheaval similar to Two-Face or Mr. Freeze. As such, any new interpretation of Bane harkens back to this Knightfall which leaves Bane’s character evolution almost stagnant.

The Tried and True Dance

One overarching theme between the many incarnations of Bane and Batman is the formulaic dance of Bane beating Batman then Batman making a triumphant return and defeating Bane. During these bouts, Bane would comment on breaking Batman’s spirit or back but never succeeding in either of those. These can be seen in the Animated Series (tAS) and The Batman (TB). In the Dark Knight Rises (DKR), Bane actually does succeed in both of his boasts making the DKR version one of the most effective Banes to date.

Some interpretations acknowledge that Bane had once broken the Batman’s back and that he will do it again. This can seen in the Arkham video game series and Justice League: Doom. I like both of these incarnations as they retain Bane’s competence and his fighting skill perfectly. Doom was particularly brutal as he threw Bruce Wayne into his parents’ coffin and buried him beneath it. That’s savage but man that pissed the hell out of Bruce.

Menacing

Bane, unlike many Batman villains, can successfully pull off a threatening . Although some interpretations drop the ball on this (Batman and Robin mainly), there are a few that outright nail it. The two best ones, not counting Knightfall, would be DKR and tAS. Dark Knight Rises Bane is menacing from the getgo as he hijacks a plane in one of the most awesome heists in film history. He breaks Batman, isolates Gotham from the rest of the U.S., and has his own army. This makes Batman’s victory over him that more triumphant.

The second incarnation of the Animated Series also brought a more menacing Bane, replacing his luchador mask with a gimp mask that strangely works. Truth be told, I don’t know what to think about this Bane as his major appearance in the second Animated Series was in Barbara Gordon’s dream. Nonetheless, this Bane is sooo great as he basically kills Batman and James Gordon even when he’s Venom-deprived. This was one of the best episodes in the series and it doesn’t hurt that his voice is so kickass too.

Defeating Bane

With such a ferocious juggernaut, Batman would have to defeat his opponent through cleverness instead of brute strength. Most of the time, this involves messing with Bane’s Venom system by either overdose or cold turkey. Batman usually solves this with his batarangs (though in Batman and Robin they just simply kick the tubes out). This can be seen in Arkham, tAS, and Doom. The Batman, however, finds a different solution via the Batbot, a giant Batman robot which Bruce pilots. Though Bane has the upperhand for most of the fight, Batman wins by electrocuting Bane’s Venom supply which malfunctions him back to his original state. Since Bane in the DKR doesn’t have Venom tubes, Batman defeats him on sheer dominance rather than strategy.

The Worst Interpretations

I think most of everyone would agree that the worst Bane interpretation is in Batman and Robin. Before I divulge my reasons why, let’s count off the five things that define Knightfall Bane. First off, Bane is a strong, highly skilled fighter which Venom (second) enhances. Third, Bane is intelligent and even cunningly smart. Fourth, he’s from the Caribbean. Fifth, his tranquility focuses his strength and mind to be an effective strategist and fighter.

Batman and Robin’s Bane fits just two of those (Venom and Caribbean) while everything else is thrown aside. There’s no intelligence or acumen and he’s just a lackey to Poison Ivy. Hardly a criminal mastermind. All he does is just grunts and moans. Never really contributing the plot and never instilling the same sense of fear that Knightfall Bane imposed.

I would say the second worst interpretation I’ve seen is TB version as although this Bane is from the Caribbean and is a decent fighter without Venom, he lacks the intelligence (again) to take down Gotham once he defeats Batman. All he does after his first fight is smash cars and cause havoc. Bane in this version is also a one-man-show as he basically shows up for one episode (and that’s the second episode of the first season) and that’s pretty much it besides a few cameos.

The Best Interpretations

Obviously besides the Knightfall version, there are two Banes I appreciate. The DKR version is great as it retains all the characteristics of Knightfall with the slight exception to the modified Venom (although it works rather well). I love this Bane, he has a kick ass voice, great style, and actually broke Batman’s back and spirit and that was awesome. He brought Gotham to its knees and ruled the city with an iron fist. This is a fantastic Bane and truth be told, this would be my favorite Bane had it not been for one conversation I had with a friend several years ago. After I praised Bane in DKR, my friend commented how she thought Bane was a rather weak character after it was revealed that he was just serving Taliah Al Ghul. Bane wasn’t the mastermind, she was. After the reveal, and after Batman gets his shit together, Bane becomes a stepping stone to the grand finale and loses all his composure and intimidation. Ooooh, I dislike this. Bane should be an intelligent crime lord yet he’s just a façade in the movie! Regardless, Bane is still a memorable antagonist and one of the best in comic book film history.

I would be remiss if I did not mention Secret Six Bane. Secret Six is canon with Knightfall so we see a Bane that’s both similar, and not, to that version. One thing that I respect about this Bane is him swearing off Venom despite losing his superhuman strength. Unfortunately, this makes Bane a prime punching bag which makes him somewhat of a joke but he does have some badass moments in the comic. This Bane is probably the most chill out of all the Banes as he’s stoic, kind, and can be a source of humor at times.  Probably the best thing about this Bane is his fatherly love and affection for Scandal Savage which at first was played for laughs but then developed into an actual effect on the storyline.

This Bane also shows his obsession for Batman which harkens back to Knightfall. In Knightfall, child Bane develops a fear of bats which soon transforms into a lust to defeat Batman.   After Batman defeats Bane, this lust morphs into an addiction to conquer Batman. In Secret Six, after Bane breaks his vow and temporarily uses Venom to save Scandal, we see from Bane’s Venom view that everyone looks like Batman and that his rage drives him to kill the Dark Knight.

As such, what Secret Six does, which no other interpretation even come close to, is respecting Bane not in the form of strength but in mind. His dual addictions to Venom and Batman are what both fuels and hamper him while his tranquil, intelligent mind is at odds with both. Perhaps future Banes should take note from Secret Six and transform Bane further into a man fighting addiction. To further complex a man that people simplify to his Venom gimmick. This was actually touched on in, of all things, Batman Beyond, where an elderly Bane is confined to a hospital bed where he’s given a steady dose of Venom to keep him alive. His addiction has become an outright necessity that without it he’d be dead. This is what I’m talking about! Someone needs to take this concept and run with it. Bane is on the verge of a rebirth, we just need a push from a Bruce Tim or a Christopher Nolan creator to make that happen.

 

What about you folks? Which is your favorite Bane interpretation? Any Banes I missed that you think I should check out? Let me know in the comments!