Monday, June 21, 2021

Marvel Team-Up # 72 (Spider-Man and Iron Man)

 By Mark Rodriguez

I managed to grab a couple of Marvel Team-Up books, back in the day when comics still came as one-shots. These guys are pretty old, comics were still 35 cents back then. Checking the comic, it was released August 78. Oh wow. Let's see what Iron Man and Spider-Man were up to in the 70's.

"Crack of the Whip!" starts with Spider-Man shining his Spider-Signal upon a group of crooks that are stealing some furs. The crooks try to shoot Spidey with drugged 'Mercy Bullets'. Spidey quickly takes down the bad guys while dodging their shots. He takes their furs, which makes the bad guys think the Bugle was right about Spidey being a thief, but he actually used them to cover them up to make it easier to clobber them. 

Suddenly the truck the bad guys were using open fired upon Spidey from its machine gun turret, and the hero is hit. The Mercy Bullets are gelatin encased and shatter upon contact, sending a nerve drug directly into his bloodstream. Spidey swings under the truck and flips it on his side as he feels his strength fading. The bad guys notice that the drug is starting to take effect and run off the goods. Dazed, Spidey still tries to stop them but he is suddenly hit by a whip that cuts him up. Whiplash appears as Spider-Man finally passes out.

I think the real crime here are Whiplash's weird-ass split-open pants-legs thing, what the hell is that?

The police arrive and the men tell Whiplash they have to go. Whiplash comments that this saved Spider-Man's life but warns him that he will kill him if he interferes again. With the last of his strength, Spidey tosses a Spider-Tracer onto Whiplash's back. The police arrive and see this as their chance to capture Spider-Man. 

Spider-Man wakes up in a police lab in front of Iron Man and Captain Jean Dewolff. Iron Man assured him no one removed his mask while he was out. Jean says he was lucky to be alive after getting hit by so many drugged bullets. Spider-Man says he'll have to put his new outfit on Whiplash's bill after it was shredded up. Iron Man realizes if his old foe Whiplash is back, then the organization he worked for, The Maggia, must be back as well.

The villains return to the Maggia hideout, concerned since they lost half their haul and even partial failures are not forgiven. Whiplash, however, joined them with the intention of rising the ranks and someday being the one to give the orders. The section leader berates Whiplash for not killing Spider-Man when he has the chance, and Whiplash angrily reminds him he's been brought aboard to do things his way. 

The leader tells Whiplash he can easily drop him if he wanted to. The front gate alarm goes off and the monitor shows Iron Man flying towards them as Jean Dewolff drives behind him with Spider-Man. The leader tells Whiplash he's an idiot for allowing himself to be followed, but this is his chance to lure them in and kill them and reap the rewards of ruthlessness. Iron Man was able to tap into the signal from the Spider-Tracer. When they get close enough, they decide to go in for the attack, but Jean isn't staying behind. She has a personal interest in stopping Maggia.

The signal leads Iron Man to an open window, but a steel door shuts behind him. He is not stuck in a Murder Maze, a maze of mirrors, all showing images of Whiplash while his whips attack the Avenger from all angles. Iron Man must his computers to determine which is the real Whiplash before his armor gets sliced to ribbons. 

Iron Man grabs onto the whip and yanks Whiplash through the mirrors and into the room. He asks him for his leader and Whiplash says he's busy with Spider-Man and Captain Jean. If he wants to help them, he'll have to get past him.

Spider-Man is crawling along the ceiling, thinking to himself that he has also faced the Maggia himself and knows how dangerous they can be. Suddenly, spiders appear out of nowhere, crawling all over Spider-Man, biting him everywhere and infecting him with their venom. Spider-Man loses his grip on the ceiling and falls on the floor that turns into a giant snake. 

Spider-Man thinks that this the effects of the drugs, the spiders biting him must have really been drugged darts to make him more vulnerable to mind control. He recognizes this as the abilities of Brian Dewolff, The Wraith. Captain Jean, his sister, appears and points her gun to Wraith's back, but the villain hypnotizes her and makes her pull the gun on herself. Wraith commands her to pull the trigger, which would make her shoot herself. Spider-Man leaps in, telling him to stop since he'd be killing his own sister. Suddenly Spider-Man is tossed back and he crashes through a wall, knocking down Whiplash, who was still fighting with Iron Man. Now with everyone gathered together, Iron Man flings Whiplash into Wraith, which snaps Jean out of the mind control.

Captain Jean realizes she was about to shoot herself and tells Wraith he would killed his own sister. Wraith told her to not look for him after he vanished. Whiplash says she would make a fine hostage to use to escape Iron Man and Spider-Man. Jean slaps her brother and tells him he's not really evil, he's letting his mind powers take control of him just like the doctors warned him they would. She yanks off his mask saying she doesn't want her brother to become a common criminal. She says Maggia found him and took advantage that he was a cop to plan robberies. 

Whiplash says Wraith doesn't sound like the kind of person he'd be taking orders from. He flings his whip around, planning his escape so he can tell the main Maggia leader that the plan failed. The whip cracks Jean upside her head, knocking her out. Iron Man angrily tries to blast Whiplash, but the villain dodges the repulsor blast. Spider-Man tends to Jean and tells Iron Man to take care of Whiplash but Wraith decides to step in. 

Wraith stares into Whiplash's eyes and makes him see a giant one eyed snake monster wrapping itself around him. This makes Whiplash go crazy with horror, while everyone can't see anything but the villain writhing on the floor, screaming for help.

The cops arrive and take away all the villains, the henchmen lamenting that they should have gotten away while everyone was busy fighting. Whiplash is still babbling about snakes. Captain Jean tells her brother to promise to never use his mind power again, and he promises to try. As the siblings walk off, Spider-Man and Iron Man watch them, wondering if they could ever give up their powers to live a normal life someday. 

My Opinions- 

Pretty cool one-shot, all things considered. This is the first time I ever seen Whiplash in the comics, though I've heard of him before. Of course, many might remember Whiplash's portrayal in Iron Man 2, but that character was more of a mix between Whiplash and the Crimson Dynamo.

I'm still new to Marvel in many aspects, I'm not up all the evil organizations like AIM and HYDRA, so I never heard of Maggia before. It seems that other than Whiplash, several other villains have been members or at least hired by the several incarnations of this organization, including the likes of Hammerhead, Trapster and even Mysterio. 

The story was decent for what it was. I rolled my eyes a little at the mercy bullets, for if they were just regular bullets, BAM, no more Web-Slinger. Like he was hit, he was so lucky those were weird magic bullets and not the ordinary kind. Usually we see that sort of thing in cartoons to censor the comics using live rounds, so I'm surprised to see this in the actual comics. Also since all of this had to fit in a single issue, I do see some signs on rushing. The panel where both Wraith and Captain Jean appeared almost looked like she betrayed Spider-Man and siding with the bad guys. I'm glad the dialogue explains it, but it would have worked better if Wraith and Jean appeared in two separate panels.

Like if it weren't for Wraith's dialogue, it legit looks like Jean was backing him up. Not much else to say, except the ending brings up an interesting thought about the heroes. I know Peter wishes he could live a normal life from time to time, I guess I'd imagine Tony would want the same, but who knows. I also noticed, maybe cause the villains were more related to Iron Man, but poor Spidey was getting hit and drugged up all over the place in this issue, LOL. 

I can't wait to read these other Marvel pick ups I got. 

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Batman Legends of the Dark Knight # 15 (Prey Part 5)

 By Mark Rodriguez

Batman finally comes face to face with Hugo Strange after he was framed for kidnapping the Mayor's daughter. Batman was drugged and beaten by Strange and during this, Hugo overheard the Dark Knight call out for his parents. This led to him discovering his secret identity after looking up all police reports on husband and wife murders going back 20 years. When a broken and beaten Batman returns home, he finds Alfred knocked out and mannequins that look like his parents with recordings blaming him for their deaths. Batman loses all control and falls down the stairs to the Bat Cave, letting the darkness consume him. How will this end?

The Kill opens with Bruce in the Bat Cave, losing himself to his own despair. He laments that maybe he's as crazy as Strange says he is. Everyone is against him from the media to the police. He blames himself for his parents deaths. He also thinks he should end the dream of being Batman since now Hugo Strange knows and can strike at any time, not only against him bur against his loved ones. 

Elsewhere the Night Scourge is on a bloody rampage, killing criminals left and right, with the news media blaming Batman for inspiring him as well for the still missing Mayor's daughter. 

Alfred tries to tend to Bruce, but he wants him to go away. He tells Alfred to just report the break in and the mannequins as some sick joke and tell them that he was out of town at the time. Bruce tells Alfred that the cave is the only place he can heal now, and Alfred leaves but tells him to at least eat this time. 

Now deep in thought, Bruce determines that everything, from Night Scourge to the missing Mayor's daughter were Strange's fault. He recognized Strange's voice posing as his 'father' in the recordings and vaguely remembers the voice impersonating his 'mother'. He says the cave must heal him, for the dream can't die. Batman looks at the Bat Cave imagining the amazing place it yet to become and determines he has to continue going forward.

Gordon is now on his last day of the Mayor's deadline, he has to either find his daughter or he'll be off the force. He ponders how Cort and Strange are working together and both know he's been covering for Batman. Gordon also notes how Cort has been acting tired lately and he finds a knife in his drawer. Just then Batman calls Gordon up and asks if he will help him one last time. Gordon is listening.

Elsewhere, Catherine is still tied to the bedpost as Strange dresses up as Batman. He tells her that she was superficial, rejecting him over Batman. He tells her they are one in the same and now she won't have either of them.

Gordon hears Batman out and agrees. He thinks to himself if he betrays Batman, he can catch him like the Mayor wanted and keep his job. However, the mayor might never see his daughter again.

Alfred says he's happy to see that Bruce eating again but 3 days have past. Bruce apologizes for hitting him earlier, and Alfred knows. Bruce says he's healed and ready again and Alfred drops his dishes in shock to see the new Batmobile. Batman says he's off. Alfred wishes him luck since he'll be facing off against the devil tonight. 

Hugo Strange is pouring himself some liquor as he continues to boast in front of Catherine, when Batman arrives. Hugo asks if Batman has come to surrender, Batman asks how he did it. Strange says someone like Batman is easy to imitate and frame. Batman asks if the Mayor's daughter is still alive. Hugo says she slightly bruised but intact. Batman says he had help and Hugo says he can't accepted that he was defeated by just one man. Hugo asks Batman if he's had any good dreams lately. After a moment of silence Batman, with a slight smile says he never dreams.

Hugo tells Batman not to deny it, since the sight of his dead parents should have affected him. Batman says his parents live in Paraguay. Hugo says he must be lying and the mannequins should have affected him. Batman says he doesn't know what he's talking about. Hugo threatens to call the police but just then Gordon and an officer come in, having heard the whole thing. The cop handcuffs Strange as Batman hands Gordon a recorded confession. 

The officer calls out to Gordon, having found the Mayor's daughter tied up in the bedroom. Batman tells Gordon that Hugo was mad all along, he was just the trigger that set him off, but he still had help. Batman feels Gordon knows who that is, which is why he agreed to help. Strange managed to get away from the officer, and Batman gives chase. 

As Strange escapes, still dressed as Batman, the police outside see him and think he's the real deal. Since they have orders from Cort to shoot to kill, they open fire on Hugo Strange. The madman falls into the nearby river. Gordon and Batman witness this from a distance. 

Batman tells Gordon this isn't over yet, they still have to stop the Night Scourge. Gordon pulls out the knife that he found earlier and tell him to try Max Cort. Gordon and Batman head off towards a chop shop where Cort is most likely to strike next. Batman follows Max and sees how stops his car in the tunnel so he can dress as the Night Scourge, proving that Gordon was right. As Batman tries to get the drop on him, Cort actually finds him first.

Batman barely dodges a few deadly sword strikes and then back flips to get some distance. Scourge says he's better than Batman since Hugo Strange said so. Batman pulls out two Batarangs and tells him to prove it. As they fight, Batman uses the Batarangs to counter and block the sword strikes. 

Batman dodges and flips to avoid the attacks and tells Cort to drop the blades. Cort only acknowledges himself as the Night Scourge and he won't stopped after Batman mocked him in front of his men. He manages to swing at Batman and cut him across the shoulder. Batman grabs onto Scourge's arm but gets kicked in the ribs. 

Batman thinks he needs to find a way to get rid of his swords and throws bat-themed ninja stars at Scourge's hands. The swords are knocked out of his hands and now Scourge pulls out knives. These are easier for Batman to deal with. Batman is able to take him down a lot easier, kicking him to the ground. However, Scourge lands near his swords. 

Just then a whip latches onto the sword and takes it right out of Scourge's hands. Catwoman claims the sword as her own and tells Batman they're even now and he can give him hell on his own. 

As Batman prepares to finish off Scourge, he's already driven off in his car. Cort is driving like a madman, running people over, saying he just needs to get to the high ground and get his gun. Suddenly Cort sees the new Batmobile that drives right into him, flipping the car over. Cort crawls out of his car and is on the run with the Batmobile hot on his heels.

Cort runs into the police station, desperate to get himself a gun. His fellow officers see him and Cort takes off his mask. Batman is already inside and tells everyone that Max Cort was the Night Scourge and had kidnapped the Mayor's daughter. Cort yells at the cops to kill him. The radio confirms that they shot Batman and the body fell off the tri-sector bridge. The Mayor asks Batman if he was just shot. Gordon arrives with his men and tells them that it was Hugo Strange dressed up as Batman trying to frame him. 

Cort takes a gun from one of his men and aims to shoot Gordon for being a traitor. The rest of the officers open fire and gun Cort down. 

Gordon explains to the Mayor that Batman was instrumental in getting his daughter back when he led them to Strange. The Mayor decides to disband the Vigilante Task Force for now so they can focus on the real criminals. He says if he keeps it up, he can make it to Commissioner someday.

Later on Gordon tells Batman that they dragged the river and couldn't find a body, so Strange might be dead and washed out to sea. Batman says he might have survived and have gone into hiding, only time will tell. Gordon appreciates Batman coming to terms with the police but he knows there will always be police that will hate him, and politicians are due to bring up the vigilante issue every season. Gordon says if he plays his cards, they might make things more open and permanent and paint a bat on the beacon. 

Batman tells Gordon to play his cards right and never become a politician. Batman needs him. Gordon thinks to himself that this city needs Batman.

My Opinions-

This was a hell of a story and I had to go back to real the whole thing to capture the whole feel of it. There's just something interesting of a less that perfect Batman, a Batman that just started his career and already had the entire city turned against him. I mean he was minutes away from Hugo revealing his identity to the world and have the police storm Wayne Manor and gun him down.

There's just so many angles take to view this story, the inner psychology of Batman, what continues to drive him despite the fact that he was so mentally broken he was even considering hanging up the cape. 

Then we also have the rise and fall of both Hugo Strange and Max Cort. Hugo Strange started out as a renown and respected psychiatrist, able to appear on tv spots and sell books. At a time that people didn't know what to think of Batman, people were looking to him for answers and he could benefit from that. However, Hugo's own insanity and darkness came out during this, growing obsessed and even envious of Batman. Dressing as Batman, talking to his mannequin as if she were real (which btw, while mannequin was spelled correctly before, this comic continued to spell it mannekin for some reason) and going so far as kidnapping the Mayor's daughter because she rejected him. 

In the end. Hugo is caught by police and forced to flee, while still dressed as Batman and gets caught under Cort's 'shoot to kill Batman' orders. I liked the irony of that.

Max Cort went from being a regular cop, maybe too eager to catch Batman, but he also went crazy. However, Strange did hypnotize him to act like the Night Scourge (as well as dress up as Batman when he kidnapped Catherine) so it's hard to say how much of his madness is coming from him and how much was coming from Strange. Regardless his fate by getting gunned down by his own men.

Catwoman was kind of a random addition, and was more of a cameo. I guess she was mostly there to remind us that she was around in Gotham during that time. I completely forgot about her until her sudden save, keeping Cort away from his swords. 

Overall an amazing and epic tale. It showcased a lot about both Batman and Bruce Wayne, it showcased how Gordon was still uneasy about his alliance with Batman, and it even introduced the Batmobile. The only two things I'm left thinking about this story is how Catherine was in the house the whole time that Batman had his first encounter with Hugo (in which he was drugged and beaten) and he never knew. The other thing is just the thought that somehow Batman had to resort to walking home back in the day. He's lucky the paparazzi must have been busy elsewhere or else they would have caught sight of Batman randomly wandering around the Wayne Manor grounds. Just imagine how that would have gone down. 

Never knew Batman's parents lived in Paraguay, lmao. 

Batman Legends of the Dark Knight # 14 (Prey part 4)

By Mark Rodriguez 

Dr. Strange has become obsessed with Batman and has hypnotized Max Cort into being a vigilante named Night Scourge. As Scourge he runs into both Catwoman and Batman and manages to get away. This time Hugo hypnotizes him into dressing up as Batman himself, sending him to kidnap the Mayor's daughter and telling the Mayor that 'Gotham is his'. While this is happening, the real Batman is still out cold, being knocked out by Catwoman.

It's been a while so here are the links to the first 3 parts

'The Nightmare' opens with the Mayor understandably upset that his daughter was kidnapped by who he thinks is Batman. He tells Gordon that he has 5 days for his Vigilantee Task Force to catch him or he's off the force for good. Gordon knows in his heart that Batman is innocent, but he has no choice but to order Cort to bring in Batman by any means necessary. Cort says he figured that was the point of the task force to begin with. Cort tells his men that the latest word on Batman is to find him and this time... to shoot to kill. Meanwhile Bruce is having nightmares about that infamous night when his family was gunned down when he was only a child. 

Catherine is tried to a bedpost in her underwear as Hugo Strange reveals himself to be the fake Batman that kidnapped her. He asks her what she thinks about him now. Catherine says he is no psychiatrist and is completely insane. Strange slaps her and tells her she's just like all the other women, no man is good enough for them unless it's Batman. Still in the costume, Strange sits next to his mannequin and downs a bottle of booze, telling her that Batman is about to fall. 

 Batman wakes up to see the cops shooting at him and he is quick to get away as he realizes they intend to kill him. As he leaps off the rooftop, he wonders if Gordon knows about this. He gets the feeling that something major must have happened while he was knocked out but he has no idea what. Batman lands close enough to a cop to quickly distract him and take him down. He judo throws the cop into a nearby trashcan. More cops show up and open fire as Batman runs up the fire escape of a nearby building. He wonders how he's supposed to catch the Night Scourge like this. One of the cops calls Batman a kidnapper which he takes note of. Batman lands on the other side of the building and runs behind a car. A cop sees him and runs towards the car, thinking he's gonna be the lucky one to take down the Bat.

Batman quickly takes him out instead and then goes to hide in the sewers. The police arrive at the scene and are confused as to how Batman just vanished. They were surprised he seems out cold when they first found him but he still managed to get away. One of the cops thinks Batman must have escaped through the sewers, but they weren't about to follow him down there. Batman re-emerges three blocks away and overhears from some teen's radio that 'Batman has kidnapped the Mayor's daughter'. Batman decides it's time to pay Hugo Strange a visit. Strange continues to monologue until he detects smell of a Batman who's been running 3 blocks in the sewers. Batman figures out that Strange is behind Night Scourge and wants to know where he's holding Catherine. Hugo asks about the smell and Batman tells him he had to get through the sewers to get to him. Hugo angrily swings a bat at his mannequin, knocking her head off, telling it to stop laughing at him. Batman catches her head but it lets loose some sort of gas in his face. 

Hugo explains he's been expecting Batman and he filled the mannequin's head with a powerful hallucinogen that can be used to break emotional barriers. As Batman is suffering the effects, Hugo bashes his head with his bat. He then goes for another swing, this time sending Batman flying out the window. As Batman falls he yells out for his parents, which Hugo overhears. As Batman falls he tries to throw a Batarang with rope to break his fall, but he still lands flat on his back. Strange calls Cort and asks him to get police files on all double murders, husband and wife going back twenty years. 

Batman re-lives his nightmare of the night his parents were gunned down in Crime Alley. Batman hallucinates that the man with the gun is now after him. In reality an armed police officer is aiming his gun at him. Batman sees himself surrounded by guns and he finds himself falling into water. Elsewhere some robbers are killed by Night Scourge's sword. Cort is convinced he's better than Batman. Gordon sees Cort asleep at his office and he's wondering why he's been so tired lately. He sees some papers in his hands and sees it's the files he's been withholding from Strange. There's a phone number written on top of the paperwork, and when Gordon calls it, he finds out it's Dr. Strange. Gordon is concerned since Cort is working with Strange and they both know he's been holding information back to protect Batman. 

Batman is meanwhile floating in the river and comes across some rocks. Hugo Strange calls Cort and says the last list he got was what he needed. He and Catherine spent half the night making tape recordings, and he considers Batman as good as broken. Cort says he isn't making sense and Hugo angrily tells him to go back to sleep and throw the phone near Catherine, who is still tied to the bedpost. Hugo tells Catherine she was very convincing in the recordings, though he's sure his bat helped a lot. Batman wakes up at the docks and some men come after him with weapons. 

As the news blares over the radio about the alleged kidnapping, Catwoman is working out and overhears it. She knows Batman didn't do it and comments that he's dark but not that dark. Batman somehow got away from the men an is downright exhausted and hung over from the drug wearing off. He notes his outfit doesn't work as well in the daylight, those men were not afraid of him and just saw him as a weakened man. There was no fear or power in the daylight. Batman returns home where he can finally rest, but he can't find Alfred. He suddenly finds Alfred knocked out on the floor. Someone was in the manor. 

Suddenly Bruce hears voices and downstairs he can see his parents. His father blames him, saying if he didn't want to go to the movies that night, they'd still be alive. His parents talk about the pain of being dead and how he can never hide from the guilt. Batman grabs his 'father' and asks who is he. Bruce angrily punches his parents and they turn out to be mannequins with tape recordings, continuing to blame him for their deaths. Alfred holds him back telling him they're fake but Bruce punches him and yells at him to leave him alone. Bruce desperately runs to the Bat Cave, the only place where he can feel safe and sane as his parents voices continue to torment him. Bruce falls down the stairs an passes out on the Bat Cave floor, losing himself to the darkness.

My Opinions- My god, is Batman really put through the ringer this time, both in body and mind. I mean he already had a few fights the issue before, ending with Catwoman clobbering him with a steel pipe. Then he wakes up with cops shooting at him and finds out people think he kidnapped the Mayor's daughter. Strange gasses him with drug and bashes him with a bat with a few times, if this was real life, Bruce's brain would have been mush after all these concussions he received in the last 24 hours. 

The comic was kinda cheap by distracting us with a alluring pic of Catwoman to distract us by just how Batman got away from the punks that found him near the docks. The very thought that Batman had to resort to walking back to his own house is pretty insane, especially in broad daylight. He must have been lucky no one decided (or dared) to follow him if they happened to see Batman walking off somewhere. 

Speaking of Catwoman, it's kinda funny how she's just 'there' in the story, not really the focus, but just so happens to have started her criminal career around the time Bats was running around. 

Hugo Strange is going off the rails and holy crap, not only did he discover Batman's secret identity, but he forced Catherine to impersonate Bruce's mother for the recordings. I don't know how they would even know what Bruce's parents' voices would sound like but I guess they were close enough to do the job. 

Strange's bizzare obsession with Batman is just something else, as is his obsession for validation from not only Catherine but his mannequin as well. I'm assuming the 'stop laughing at me' thing is based on him getting laughed at while he was still earning his doctorate based on his crazy methods.

This is Batman at his darkest, lost to his own despair. Since this takes place when he was just starting out, the memory is fresher in his mind now than it would have been 20 or so years later (assuming Batman is in his 30's in current day). We'll see where all this leads as we're up on the final chapter. 

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Five Nights at Freddy's- How FNAF 2 Complicated the Lore

By Mark Rodriguez

Five Nights at Freddy's.... a game series that started out by being a security guard trying to survive 5 nights at a pizzeria full of haunted animatronics that spawned lots of sequels. Now the latest one is looking like it's going to be about some of the animatronics actually trying to keep you safe from a serial killer that might have been brainwashed by a possessed VR game. What the hell?

FNAF.... how it started and where it's going......

 Here's a quick trip down memory lane over just how simple the story of FNAF seemed to be in the first game, and how the second game started the long path of the huge mess that we have now. Now when the first game came out back in 2014, creator Scott Cawthon had no way of knowing it would be a smash hit with lots of sequels. In fact, it was a bit of a last desperate attempt to make it in the gaming business. It's hard to believe nowadays, but had FNAF failed, Scott would have given up working on video games and moved on to whatever his Plan B would have been.

Five Nights at Freddy's- 

So from the start, the game has always had 2 stories, the one you're told in-game by the 'Phone Guy' and the actual story hidden in the background. Both of them have an ending that wraps itself in a clean bow at the end. Now before I go into this, please remember, we're going into this pretending only FNAF1 exists and ignore all the stuff we learned from all the sequels.

In-Game Story on the Surface-

So you're a security guard that got hired to work at Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria. Now for whatever reason the animatronics are allowed to walk around at night, or else their servos would break down. They were apparently able to walk around during the day at one time, until one of them bit a customer hard enough to cause damage to the frontal lobe, an event called the Bite of '87. If the animatronics spot the security guard after hours, they will brutally murder him or her by cramming them into an empty spare animatronic suit in the back, full of sharp devices and whatnot. The company's only reasoning behind this is that the animatronics will confuse a human after hours for an animatronic without its suit so they will fix that by jamming you into one, apparently unaware that doing such will kill you. 

FNAF VR really put you right into the office. The original name relied on static photos, but now you actually see them wander the halls as Phone Guy said they would.

Lucky for you, the previous security guard, Phone Guy, noticed these things and made some recordings for you to listen to at the beginning of every night to explain what's going on and help you avoid the killer mascots. Sadly Phone Guy dies on the Night 4 recording, which means you've been listening to his final words the whole time. So assuming you survived, you last the week and get fired for messing with the animatronics on night 7, and the restaurant is shut down by year's end due to so many incidents and the robots being creepy as all hell.

The Real Story Hidden Underneathe-

Aside from the fact that these Pizzeria Mascots walk around on their own trying to kill you, other weird things happen in the restaurant that seem more supernatural. Pictures change to newspaper clippings, you get weird hallucinations, and there's a Golden Freddy suit that just appears and disappears from your office. The newspaper clippings in particular pretty much spell out the backstory.

So on June 26th, two kids were reported missing somehow relating to the pizzeria. It seems an employee lured them to the back while dressing as one of the mascots but the bodies were never found. Later it was updated that it was actually 5 kids that were missing and while the guy was caught and charged the following day, the bodies were never found. Besides the Pizzeria having trouble keeping their business afloat after this tragedy, customers started complaining that the animatronics started to stink and drip blood and mucus and pretty much move around like the living dead. Finally by the end of the year, all of these events that seemed to happen over the years, missing kids, the Bite of 87, the animatronics stinking, the fact all the security guards never seem to come back, as well as health violations will lead to the restaurant being shut down. Without any buyers, the restaurant is over.

So basically from all this, we can pretty much gather that someone dressed up as one of the mascots, would eventually lead 5 kids to the back and kill them. He'd then hide the bodies in the animatronics, who would start to rot and smell. The 5 kids would possess the 5 animatronics, Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, Foxy and Golden Freddy and that's the real reason they wander at night and why they kill the security guards. After so many years all they know is rage and they attack any adult they encounter because they can't tell who was the one that killed them anymore. All they know is the need for revenge.

While the game still left a few things open, such as who did the bite of 87, who was the guy that killed the kids, and whatnot, it was a pretty simple story. Guy kills kids, kids possess animatronics, you gotta survive 5 nights with them coming after you, and the restaurant eventually shuts down due to all the murders. But then we got the sequel.....

FNAF 2 enters the scene- 

Released a few months later, we got the FNAF sequel as we got a new and improved restaurant, now with more advanced animatronics designed to keep criminals out and also twice as many killer robots coming after you.

In-Game Story on the Surface- 

You're hired as a security guard to work at Freddy's, but the new animatronics suffer from the same 'shove a human into a suit' glitch as before. On top of that, you work at an office without doors and the animatronics are designed to be where the noise is at, so at night when things quiet down, they'll surely head towards you. Phone Guy is still around, and he gives you valuable tips to survive, such as how to use the new Freddy mask to trick some of the animatronics into leaving you alone, how to use the flashlight to keep Foxy at bay and also to keep the music box wound up to keep the Puppet away. Oh yeah, the older animatronics are still somewhere in the building, and even though they've been decommissioned and broken down, they'll still come after you alongside their newer replacements. 

Now the first question is, whoa, didn't the Phone Guy die? Turns out the game is a sequel. Throughout the week, the phone calls suggest that you're actually working the same week the mysterious guy from the first game took one of the mascot suits to start killings kids. And to top it off, not only does the pizzeria shut down for investigation while you're there, it's heavily implied the game will end with you attending the birthday party in which the bite of 87 will take place. Either you'll be the bite victim, or you'll be a witness to it. This will shut down the restaurant and the Toy Animatronics will be scraped while the older models will be redesigned into their FNAF 1 designs. 

The Real Story Hidden Underneathe-

While the story isn't that different, the animatronics are still haunted and out for blood, and all the events are explained during actual gameplay via the phone calls.... this game started the trend of mini-games that explain more of the lore. And this is where things gets complicated. These cut scenes do not just go into the backstory of FNAF 2.... it goes into FNAF 1 and other events that took place even before that.

The cut scenes show the actual child murderer, portrayed as who we call 'The Purple Guy', so we get to see, in a sense, the guy who was only mentioned in the first game. We also find out that Puppet was the one that helped the kids possess the animatronics so they could get their revenge. We find out that there are other restaurants before the events of this game. It's heavily implied that the Purple Guy claimed his first victim not at the current pizzeria, but at an older restaurant called Fredbear's Family Diner, where that kid would possess the Puppet. 

And thus the lore got all out of whack. Of course, with a part 2, we can assume there would be a part 3, so now we can leave more things open for a sequel. Are the Toy Animatronics also possessed? What do you mean there were other restaurants besides Freddy's? What is the Purple Guy's deal? Which one committed the bite of 87? What's the deal with Shadow Freddy and Shadow Bonnie? 

Hell, what about the FNAF 1 animatronics? They're already walking around in this game despite being broken down. If they were already possessed then, then were they possessed the whole time they were redesigned into the FNAF 1 designs? How did they not find the bodies of the dead kids when they were rebuilding the animatronics? Each new game complicates things as not only do the games sometimes take place further in the past, the cut scenes can take place anywhere in the timeline. There have been countless attempts to make sense of the exact order of all the restaurants, all the events and all the ever-growing number of animatronics and not all the pieces fit perfectly. To this day we still have many unwanswered questions, such as who did the Bite of 87, the deal with the Shadow Animatronics, and later on, the exact deal with the entire Afton family. 

The Story thus far-

Despite the exact timeline and everything else still being up for grabs, we can all agree the official 'end' of the original FNAF story happened at the end of FNAF Pizza Simulator where all the haunted animatronics got burnt down and their spirits can finally rest... except for that of Afton, the Purple Guy, who's soul is stuck in the purgatory represented when you play Ultimate Custom Night.

The FNAF saga continues with FNAF Help Wanted in which the Fazbear Franchise released a VR game in-universe to pretend all the events of the previous games were just nonsense in an attempt to clean up their public image. However the game is infected by William Afton, who somehow exists as a computer virus and gains control of the player. 

FNAF Security Breach continues the story with the possessed woman now out to kill you, and as of right now we have lots of questions. Why are the animatronics helping you? Is Vanny the only villain or are some of the animatronics also after you? What make some of them good and some of them bad. Are these new Glamrock Animatronics also possessed or just super smart AI? How does the new security guard fit into all this? Like will the game switch gameplay between the security guard, the kid and the animatronics protecting him? Like, what exactly is going on? What other bizzare twists and turns will this franchise take? 

Saturday, April 3, 2021

My March 2021 Shirt Haul

 By Mark Rodriguez

Alright, so this month I really overdid it with the shirts. I think after this month I gotta put my foot down and not spend anymore, not counting of course, the shirts that already come with the subscription boxes. This time at least we have a higher variety than wrestling shirts.

Geek Fuel Box- Godzilla shirt- March 14, 2021

So this time the box had a bit of a dinosaur theme with items related to Jurassic Park and Godzilla. We got the Godzilla VS King Kong movie coming up so I'll probably be wearing that when I watch it with my buddies. This shirt is pretty cool, it's unique since it's exclusive to the Geek Fuel Box, but also says Gojira on the back. Awesome.

Priscilla Kelly PK shirt- March 15, 2021

Some time ago I bought PK's black shirt with white letters and I vowed to some day return to and purchase the white variant. I like how the rose in this variant is a blue-ish color, since it does bring a bit of color to the shirt.

Coupled with the shirt of  PK herself, I now own all 3 of her shirts until whenever WWE starts releasing new merch under her Gigi Dolin name. Check out to get cool unique merch related to Priscilla Kelly, Darby Allin and Brody King.

Amazon- Red 'Charlie Sheen' Shirt- March 16, 2021

So long ago I used to own both a white variant and a red variant of what they call 'Charlie Sheen' shirts cause he would wear a similar style on 'Two and a half Men'. I loved these shirts but sadly I outgrew them so they had to go.

I decided to check out and bought myself a new shirt, this time matching my current size. So in a way, I recovered one of my classic shirts.

I do plan to buy the white variant eventually and maybe some other colors too.

DBZ Collage shirt- March 20, 2021 

Well unfortunately this one was a disappointment. Long ago Paige gave me this awesome DBZ shirt from f.y.e and it was one of my faves. It got messed up due to too many washes over the years and also it no longer fits, so it had to go.

Here's a good shot of me wearing it around the time it was brand new. Notice how the image is bright and colorful and covers the majority of the shirt, going all the way to the bottom of it.

Well, I found the design on and decided to go for it. Unfortunately it wasn't an exact replica of the one I used to own....

The camera actually brings out the colors more, but the image itself is blurry, 'computerized' looking and super damn small. For an XL shirt it's almost like a large patch in the middle of an almost empty black shirt. I was hoping to get one of my favorite shirts back but this was a horrible letdown.

Street Fighter 2 shirt- 80's Tees

I saw this shirt on sale on 80's Tees, so I decided to go for it. Gotta love the classic Street Fighter 2. It was a favorite at the arcades and it was awesome to play at home on the SNES. Here we got Ryu, Chun Li, Balrog, Akuma, Sagat and Bison all looking ready to mess you up.

This shirt and many other cool designs are available at

LBRY shirt- March 25, 2021

I decided to check out the LBRY shop for a new shirt to wear and show off for a future episode of the Gamer Cauldron. I found this awesome one with a different and fancier font that I will be showing off soon.

I also bought a black version of the regular LBRY shirt, as Johnny is seen wearing here, so I own 3 LBRY shirts now. I also bought Averis a purple version of the LBRY shirt, though it looks like nowadays they only sell them in green or black.

Pro Wrestling Crate- March 27, 2021

CM Punk 'Fists Up' shirt

Here we get a cool shirt dedicated to CM Punk with this classic taped up fists with the X on them and painted in the Chicago colors. This is an awesome design.

MJF 'Better than You' shirt

The second shirt we got this month was one devoted to MJF. I love the design, it's actually one of his better shirts when compared to his line up so far at ProWrestlingTees. The colors are awesome though they're difficult to capture on camera right.

TeePublic shirts- March 30, 2021

I decided it was a good time to look up Jericho's Bubbly Club shirt and not only found it over at TeePublic, I also found something else.

Jericho Bubbly Club shirt

I saw this one advertised everywhere back when Jericho first coined the phrase "A little bit of the Bubbly!" the night he would win the AEW Championship Title during the first episode of AEW Dynamite. The shirt is a parody of the Bullet Club and all their other different versions of 'Club' associated with the several members. I'm not sure if it was a shirt that came in an older ProWrestlingCrate box or something but I always confused why a shirt Jericho wore himself was nowhere to be found on the site.

KOF Women shirt

As you know, I'm a big King of Fighters fan so I couldn't resist a shirt with such an awesome design. Aside from the ones you'd expect like Mai, Yuri and King, you also get Nakoruru from Samurai Shodown, Lienn from KOF Maximum Impact and Ai from Neo Geo Battle Coliseum. The shirt came in several colors so I went with this shade of blue. It's a pretty cool shirt.

Go to for these and other awesome shirts.

My Opinions-

A lot of awesome shirts this month I have to say. It's difficult to choose a specific favorite. Some of my absolute favorites are the Bubbly Club shirt, the Street Fighter shirt and the 'Charlie Sheen' shirt. The Godzilla shirt from Geek Fuel was kinda cool, but I'll be wearing it soon as I join my buddies to watch Godzilla VS King Kong soon. 

Obviously my least favorite shirt was the DBZ Collage shirt that was not what I was expecting. I'll keep trying to see if I can find that shirt elsewhere.