#Face of a Franchise

Face of a Franchise: Sabbath’s Shepherd

[face of a franchise presents two individuals that’ve fulfilled the same role. your task — choose the better of the two and defend your choice in the rancor pit that is the comments section]

If you fancy heavy metal, chances are that you probably like Black Sabbath. While crafting some of metal’s most recognizable tunes, England’s metal pioneers also established many of the genre’s time-tested motifs – an affinity for the occult, dark fantasies realized, and the systemic abuse by those in positions of power. Also, Tony Iommi proved that you don’t need fingertips to shred.

In short, Black Sabbath kicks ass.

But this begs the question – which Sabbath singer reigns supreme?

For the band’s first eleven years, Ozzy Osbourne fronted Black Sabbath. Before becoming a whack-job reality-television pawn of his evil wife, Ozzy was a metal-messiah. The dude crooned his way onto Sabbath’s seminal records, got booted from the band, and then continued setting dangerous precedents in a solo career that helped push Randy Rhoads into infamous realms. Although he’s a self-parody now, there’s no denyin’ that Ozzy is an icon inside and outside of the metal-world.

After Ozzy was ousted, Ronnie James Dio was brought into the fold and sang on the next two Sabbath albums, Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules (he also rejoined the group for 1992’s Dehumanizer). While Dio isn’t as well-known as Ozzy in the world of pop-culture, true metal-maniacs know of his glory. Between stints in Rainbow, Elf, Black Sabbath, and his eponymous group, Dio carved a name for himself in metal history. And hell, his inclusion in Heaven and Hell pretty much confirmed that Iommi’d rather work with him than Ozzy.

Which sucks, cause Dio passed away in 2010.

So, who do you prefer – Ozzy or Dio? Is Ozzy the better frontman but Dio the better singer? Does Dio get points for popularizing the horns? Who has the better solo career? Let’s see where the dust settles on this one!

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Face of a Franchise: Izzza Mario!

[face of a franchise presents two individuals that’ve fulfilled the same role. your task — choose the better of the two and defend your choice in the rancor pit that is the comments section]

One of the most celebrated rites of passage in the Nerd Realm is engaging in the Greatest Hero debate. Would Luke Skywalker’s   Jedi powers confound John McClane, or would he manage to best Tattooine’s favorite farmboy even after getting an arm chopped off? How fast can Neo read universal code if Professor X is mind-molesting him? Can Wolverine’s healing factor work quickly enough to thwart off the three-count after Hogan delivers the atomic leg drop?

Fun questions to ask, no doubt. But only in a purely academic sense. Because, if you really think about it, everyone knows who our generation’s greatest hero is.

Super Mario.

I can’t even begin to think of a hero that’s done more than Mario. Every few years he hunts down a dinosaur, beats the shit out of him, and then brings his girlfriend home to bang her out. Oh, and by the way, she’s a princess – so you know she’s packing a high-quality rump-roast. When he’s not out hunting prehistoric menaces, Mario finds enjoyment in high-octane deathraces. He gets his broke-ass brother jobs. Oh, and the muthafuggah’s got a PhD.

With such crazy credentials, it stands to reason that it takes a real boss to portray Mario. Luckily for us, we’ve been graced with performances by two absolute masters. The only problem lies in determining who did the better job.

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Face of a Franchise: The Batman!

[face of a franchise presents two individuals that’ve fulfilled the same role. your task — choose the better of the two and defend your choice in the rancor pit that is the comments section]

During my time as a passenger aboard Spaceship Earth, six live-action Batman films have been produced. Spanning across nineteen years, these movies have seen four different actors wearing the cowl, each offering their own take on the Dark Knight. As viewers, we’ve been incredibly privileged to see such different interpretations of a classic superhero.

But alas, only two of these thespians’ performances are worthy enough to engage in a fight to the death.

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Face of a Franchise: Archetypal Wise Old Man!

[face of a franchise presents two individuals that’ve fulfilled the same role. your task — choose the better of the two and defend your choice in the rancor pit that is the comments section]

The wise old man may be my favorite archetype of all. This is the dude that lives on the outskirts and is ostracized by regular folk because his otherworldly knowledge frightens them. Fortunately, this geezer’s benevolence keeps him buoyant enough to guide a callow protagonist on his epic journey, imparting wisdom along the way.

Oh, he’s also been known to die   mid-journey. But don’t worry, he’ll probably return from the grave. And if he does, the chief’s going to have plus-thirty Sick Powers.

Virgil. Pai Mei. Merlin. Odin. Henry. All wise old men. All bosses.

But there are two that stand shoulders above the rest, not only fulfilling the role of the helpful wizard but defining it for new generations. I’ll make a case for each and then let you hit up the comments section with your choice. Omega-Readers, short or tall, who is the dopest wizard of them all?

Ben Kenobi or Gandalf?

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Face of a Franchise: Hero 1999!

[face of a franchise presents individuals that’ve fulfilled the same role. your task — choose the champion and defend your choice in the rancor pit that is the comments section]

It took seventeen years for Prince’s prophecy to be refuted, but when 1999 hit there was plenty to party about. For one thing, the Internet was finally delivering porno at a rate that could compete with that of our constantly evolving fetishes. And mercifully, Disney’s Doug was slaughtered after besmirching the brand that had flourished for years on Nickelodeon.

But most worthy of celebration was 1999’s slew of cinematic masterpieces.

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Face of a Franchise: Holy Handmaidens!

[face of a franchise presents two individuals that’ve fulfilled the same role. your task — choose the better of the two and defend your choice in the rancor pit that is the comments section]

The Star Wars prequels were unmitigated disasters. Any attempt to debate this truism will be met with a polite request to leave OL. A refusal to do so will result in an introduction to the Midichlorian Masher – a butt-paddle we bought at the local state college’s annual auction of confiscated contraband.

Don’t tempt us.

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Face of a Franchise: VH Screamer!

[face of a franchise presents two individuals that’ve fulfilled the same role. your task — choose the better of the two and defend your choice in the rancor pit that is the comments section]

This one’s been debated so many times that I almost didn’t write the post. But then I started thinking about the the potential responses the creatures that frequent OL would drop, and I couldn’t help myself. This one might get ugly.

And I’m looking forward to it.

Since I only listen to Cherone-era Van Halen, I had to do a little research. From what I’ve gathered, Van Halen had two singers before Gary Cherone and the relationships with both of them were somewhat tumultuous. So who were these jabronis? Which one was better? Let’s take a look!

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Face of a Franchise: Metal Mascot

[face of a franchise presents two individuals that’ve fulfilled the same role. your task — choose the better of the two and defend your choice in the rancor pit that is the comments section]

As everyone knows, heavy metal is a genre of music performed exclusively by Satanists in the hopes of stealing souls for the Devil. But with the religious right constantly exerting their will, it isn’t always easy provide the Dark Lord the souls he craves. Fortunately, heavy metal wised up and stole a page from Big Tobacco’s playbook by employing cartoons! Since kids can’t resist cartoons, heavy metal has been able to ensure the damnation of millions of youthful spirits!

It’s wonderful.

So, who is the most metal mascot of all-time? Well, the debate always seems to come down to two contenders: Iron Maiden’s Eddie and Megadeth’s Vic Rattlehead.

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Face of a Franchise: Betty Ross

[face of a franchise presents two individuals that’ve fulfilled the same role. your task — choose the better of the two and defend your choice in the rancor pit that is the comments section]

The Incredible Hulk is one of the most venerated comics characters of all-time, and rightfully so. In one way or another, can’t we all sympathize with the plight of Bruce Banner? A repressed weakling, Banner occasionally allows his frustrations to get the best of him. And when they do, the dude turns into a giant green rage-monster and starts beating the shit out of everything in sight.

Maybe the guy just needs to get laid.

So who’s Banner’s lady of choice? Well it’s Betty Ross, daughter of arch-nemesis General Thaddeus Ross (oh, how naughty!). While countless artists have penciled Betty over the years, she’s most recently been portrayed by two smokin’ Hollywood babes.

In 2003’s Hulk, Betty Ross was played by Jennifer Connelly. The movie was a damn disaster (a movie based on the Hulk should never try to be a psychological thriller) but Connelly was damn gorgeous. Truthfully, I can’t really recall how her acting was in the flick, but she won an Academy Award for her role in Crazy Math-Guy so I’ll assume she rocked.

About five years later, Liv Tyler took the reins for The Incredible Hulk. Tyler, having proven her worth as a half-elf, was more than ready to play Banner’s beauty. This movie was definitely a step in the right direction, and I think it’s fair to give Steven Tyler’s daughter some of the credit.

So, who’s the real Betty Ross? Jennifer Connelly or Liv Tyler?

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Face of a Franchise: Thrash Pioneers

[face of a franchise presents two individuals that’ve fulfilled the same role. your task — choose the better of the two and defend your choice in the rancor pit that is the comments section]

Influenced by the NWOBHM, American metalheads of the early 1980s began shredding faster and partying harder. With art and life aping one another, the result was a new breed of metal called thrash. Yes, it’s a terrifying thought but thrash metal has been around for three decades. And nearly just as old as the music itself is the debate about who is most responsible for its inception.

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