The Great Divide: What is the biggest dream fight fans missed out on? – MMA Fighting

The Great Divide is a recurring feature here at MMA Fighting in which two of our staff debate a topic in the world of MMA whether its news, a fight, a crazy thing somebody did, a crazy thing somebody didnt do, or some moral dilemma threatening the very foundation of the sport and try to figure out a resolution. Wed love for you to join in the discussion in the comments below.

With most of the MMA world in hiatus due to the worldwide coronavirus outbreak, Mike Chiappetta and Alexander K. Lee look to the past at crossroads moments in the sport where a zig instead of a zag could have changed everything. Over the years, many dream fights have been proposed, and while several of them came to fruition, many never did, leaving fans to wonder what could have been.

But when it comes to the biggest superfight that never was, which one takes the mantle?

Chiappetta: Back in the olden days when superfights were actually a rarity, we really only got fired up about the ones that would mean something. Someone who had just won a championship for the first time, for instance, wasnt really a candidate for a superfight. You had to have a belt, a profile and gravitas to force your way into that discussion.

The first true one took place in 2009, when UFC lightweight B.J. Penn moved up to challenge welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 94. That, my friends, was a happening, an event that drew a sellout crowd to Las Vegas, nearly hit one million pay-per-view buys, and captured the imaginations of fight fans worldwide.

The fight itself was fairly one-sided. Aside from a close first round, GSP battered Penn so thoroughly that Penns corner eventually stopped the match prior to the start of the fifth. Although the match itself proved anticlimactic, St-Pierres dominance was eye-opening.

Even prior to that bout, a match between St-Pierre and middleweight champion Anderson Silva had been speculated about in MMA circles, but GSPs dominance brought that talk out into the open. If he could so easily dominate an all-time great like Penn, the thinking went, he certainly had a chance against another one in Silva.

Unfortunately, St-Pierre seemed to balk at every mention, saying that if he were to do that, hed have to take time off to bulk up to give himself the best chance of winning. And surprisingly, UFC President Dana White never really pushed for it either, calling it a fantasy as it eventually fell into the void.

Now that some time has passed since we begged and pleaded for that matchup to no avail, its hard to remember how big it would have been. Silva for a time held the record for the most consecutive UFC title defenses with 10, and St-Pierre finished right behind him with nine.

These were two of the winningest fighters in UFC history but they also were among the most charismatic and electric fighters ever to walk into the Octagon.

If you never saw either do his thing in person, you truly missed out on a special experience. For a while, St-Pierre was the king of Canada, and drew a massive crowd of supporters wherever he fought, exploding at every takedown and popping at every ground strike. Meanwhile, Silva was a showman of the highest order, playing with his opponents as if they were children before mercifully ending things with dazzling combinations of speed, power and accuracy.

Just as compelling as their skills was how they would have used them against each other. Oddsmakers made Silva a slight favorite in betting lines released during that time, mostly because of the size disparity between the two men. Silva was long and powerful, and for St-Pierre to get inside for a takedown, he would have had to navigate a treacherous stretch of territory where Silvas fists and knees could have reached him before St-Pierre got there. For Silva, one pinpoint strike often meant the end or the beginning of the end, and given GSPs risk aversion in his later days, it would have been fascinating to see how it played out.

Silva was an incredibly gifted offensive fighter, and GSP was perhaps the best defensive fighter of his era. A lot of that relied upon the threat of his takedown. It was a weapon so potent, it would often freeze fighters who were so hyper focused on defending it, they became offensively paralyzed.

Despite their best efforts, most fighters eventually found themselves on their backs against St-Pierre, but even here, the fight would have stayed interesting. As Chael Sonnen can attest, Silva remained a major threat off of his back, even in the dying moments of a bout. Thus, we couldnt assume that GSPs swarming ground game would be a sure thing.

There are so many elements that would have been riveting viewing. Could Silva overwhelm St-Pierre in the clinch as hed done to so many others? How would GSP have adjusted his offense in a reach deficit with limited use of his trademark jab? Could Silva enter the matrix against one of the sports all-time greats standing across from him? Would GSPs carefully created game plan or Silvas improvisational genius win the day?

Alas, well never know. For all time, it will be a hypothetical for the ages, just like the men within. Silva and St-Pierre will forever be among the best to ever do it, and the sport will forever rue the inability to get them into the cage against each other, even as their primes ran in parallel.

Lee: Neither Ronda Rousey nor Cris Cyborg had anywhere near the sustained excellence in the UFC as Georges St-Pierre or Anderson Silva, but at its a peak a dream bout between the two was as hot as any in MMA history and Cyborg wasnt even in the UFC until Rousey had one foot out the door.

To remember where it all began, you have to go back at the halcyon days of Strikeforce when an August 2009 fight between Cyborg and Gina Carano rocketed womens MMA into the mainstream. Carano was a budding star in her own right, a vibrant personality that would later make a name for herself in Hollywood, while Cyborg had already developed the reputation of a berserker just four years into her pro career. Hot on Cyborgs heels was a rising featherweight named Ronda Rousey.

Rousey, a bronze medal winner in judo at the 2008 Olympics, absolutely disintegrated her first four MMA opponentsall of whom would go on to have respectable careers of their ownincluding future Bellator champion Julia Budd. None of them lasted longer than 50 seconds with Rousey.

Cyborg vs. Rousey. Inevitable, right? Not exactly.

Rather than continue on at 145, Rousey dropped down to bantamweight for a title fight with Miesha Tate. It was hard to argue with the move as Rousey picked up another first-round submission and the first championship of her career. She then won her next seven title fights, including six straight in the UFC.

As for Cyborg, a failed drug test in 2011 cost her the Strikeforce belt and all but killed any notion that Rousey would consider returning to featherweight to face her. Cyborg rebounded with another championship run in Invicta FC, but ironically, the more successful they both were the less likely it was that they would cross paths given that Rouseys fame grew with every defense of her 135-pound title and Cyborg had no reason to even sign with the UFC since they had no featherweight division for her to compete in.

And yet, the two continued to snipe at each other through the media, with Rousey daring Cyborg to drop an extra 10 pounds and meet her at bantamweight, and Cyborgs camp wondering why the former 145-pound prospect was unwilling to move back up for a once-in-a-lifetime fight. It should be noted that Rousey was one of the highest-paid fighters in the world at the time and had zero reason to accommodate any opponent, especially one she openly despised.

Its that animosity that would have made this matchup the stuff of legends though. Cyborg, the unstoppable force who would eventually compile a 20-fight winning streak with few of her opponents looking like they belonged in the same cage as her; Rousey, the immovable object that dominated seasoned competition like no woman before her, even Cyborg herself. Before the rise of Amanda Nunes, Rousey and Cyborg were among the top-3 all-time when it came to WMMA GOATs (shout-out to Megumi Fujii).

It wasnt her fault by any means, but Cyborgs level of competition was always questioned. Even Rousey was a victim of her own success as her lightning-fast dismissals of the likes of Cat Zingano and Sara McMann caused them to be labeled retroactively as unworthy challengers. These two would have completed each other.

Who would have won? Its hard to bet against Cyborg, physically one of the strongest featherweights ever to compete in MMA and an excellent grappler as well. The thought of Rousey trucking her as she had so many others is unfathomable. But Rousey made a career out of proving people wrong and in her prime was the definition of a world-beater. Could she have been the one to snap Cyborgs legendary streak?

What really hurts about this one is the lateone could argue, half-heartedeffort to make this fight happen in 2016 as Cyborg was entering the UFC and Rousey was exiting. Cyborgs first two octagon appearances were 140-pound catchweight affairs, an absurd test to see if she could reasonably make the cut down to bantamweight (spoiler: she couldnt). The matchmakers were doing what they could to put the gears in motion for Cyborg vs. Rousey even if those gears were loudly grinding in futility.

It didnt matter. Rousey lost some of her mystique after being knocked out by Holly Holm, then headed to the greener pastures of the WWE after her comeback attempt was brutally stifled by Nunes. Cyborg finally reigned as the UFCs featherweight champion before she too fell to Nunes. Any remnants of a Cyborg-Rousey matchup are dust in the wind now.

Theres still an outside shot that the WWE books an angle for the two to work together someday or that the matchup is zombified for a quick cash grab a la Chuck-Tito III. For fight fans, either outcome would likely be infuriating more than anything else, especially compared to what we could have had: Two unique and gifted fighters with a genuine dislike for each other settling their score in the cage.

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The Great Divide: What is the biggest dream fight fans missed out on? - MMA Fighting

Darkseid is Showing Thanos How You REALLY Change Reality – Screen Rant

Darkseid has been on a historic mission in the realm of DC Comics, first dying in battle, then being resurrected as a mind-controlled slave, and then being reverted into an adorably hideous baby. But come June,Darkseidmay finally reach his ultimate form, and achieve his goal of reshaping all of reality. But unlike his Marvel counterpart, Thanos... Darkseid's plan will actually work.

When it comes to threat levels in the DC Universe Darkseid ranks among the very top, having nearly conquered all sentient life multiple times. His first invasion of Earth was the crisis that initially brought the Justice League together in the rebooted New 52 continuity, and his obsession with the Anti-Life Equation has led to the deaths of thousands. But not long afterJustice League: Odyssey threw shade at Thanos' plan -- claiming any fool could see how it would fail. Which means Darkseid is after an even MORE powerful way to make it happen.

Related:Justice League Prepare For Original Final Battle In New Snyder Cut Image

Gods aren't known form being humble, but Darkseids defeat at the hands of the Anti-Monitor during the events of The Darkseid War knocked the king of evil off his pedestal, and stripped him of most of his power and nearly all of his dignity. But Darkseids will is unfathomably strong, and DCs June solicitation forJustice League: Odysseysuggests the dethroned lord of Apokolips is now on his way to conquering the Multiverse in a way he never could before--by becoming the author of all reality.

Unfortunately for those fond of evil newborns, Darkseids adventures as a Rugrat were short-lived. With the help of his daughter/surrogate mother Grail, baby Darkseid fed on the life-force of Zeuss divine bastard children to gradually grow back into adulthood. Considerably weakened, Darkseid then tricked Cyborg, Starfire, and Azrael into going on a space odyssey to return him to his seat of power. Believing themselves on a mission to restore order to the universe, the trio of Earths defenders go on an unsanctioned (and forbidden) trek through a patchwork of lost planets called the Ghost Sector. Unwitting pawns in Darkseids path to ultimate power.

Darkseids quest sends the Odyssey team on a scavenger hunt to find ancient technology that combines together to create Sepulkore, a solar system-sized version of Apokolips. With Sepulkore, Darkseid plans to ride out the galactic entropy bleeding into the Multiverse after the destruction of the Source Wall (collateral damage fromNo Justice). Though they attempted to betray Darkseid before he could complete his master plan, Darkseid transforms Cyborg, Starfire, and Azrael into twisted versions of New Gods to serve at his nightmarish command.

Related:Darkseid's TRUE Equal Isn't Thanos, It's Santa (Seriously)

However, there was an unwilling member of the team Darkseid couldnt warp to his divine will--Green Lantern Jessica Cruz. Not fitting into Darkseids plans Cruz was brutally executed, but through a freak accident involving her power ring and Darkseids omega beams her body was restored with the ability to manipulate omega energy. While fleeing Darkseids mutated horrors, Cruzs new team (comprised of Darkseids son Orion, Starfires sister Queen Blackfire, a Zamaron technician, and a vicious Red Lantern who is also a house cat) encounters yet another being hoping to bring down the New God, this one armed with a machine that can rewrite reality.

Epoch, a nonlinear being and a self-proclaimed Master of Time, plans to use a cosmic device called a revision mechanism to edit out Darkseids existence from the pages of history, one syllable at a time. And not rely on magic or mysticism to do it. DCs June solicitations hint that the second Odyssey crew will also fail to bring down the Lord of Apokolips. InJustice League: Odyssey #22(on sale June 3rd), Darkseid successfully breaches Epochs defenses and it is heavily suggested that he will claim the revision mechanism for himself. This means Darkseid will wield more power than he ever has before, as the new author of the DC Universe--able to rewrite continuity to his dark will.

Does this mean DCs Rebirth is getting the New 52 treatment? With the comic book publisher offering media outlets muddled and at times conflicting details regarding their latest big event launchGeneration 5 (or 5G for short), many speculate DC is headed for another soft reboot--not a continuity earthquake like Crisis On Infinite Earths but more like a continuity aftershock likeZero Hour. If that is the case, it is more than possible that Darkseid will play a part in retconning the timeline considering hisnew position as the Multiverses editor-in-chief.

More: DCs New Batman is a Literal DINOSAUR (Seriously)

James Gunn Resorts To Using Toilet Paper With Michael Rooker's Face On It

Dorian Black is a writer for the comic book news section for Screen Rant. Having attended San Diego Comic-Con every year since 2004, he stays current on all the latest news relating to the world of superheroes, science fiction, and high fantasy. Aside from comics, Dorian also has a passion for filmmaking, having graduated with a degree in Film and Electronic Arts from CSULB with an emphasis in production. He wrote, directed, and produced his first feature while still in college, has worked on several television pilots, and even appears in Jon Schnepps endearing documentary The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened? Dorian is currently a pop-culture news host for Nerdbot Media and a contributor for Nightmarish Conjurings.An avid cosplayer, Dorian Black can be found throughout social media hosting and managing events while masquerading as Batman, Superman, Pin-Head, Casey Jones, and SHAZAM (yes, the characters real name is Captain Marvel). He has experienced some of the wildest nerd nightlife that America has to offer, meeting some truly talented fandom-inspired innovators in the entertainment industry along the way. When Dorian is not on the clock, he is also a big fan of photographybehind the camera, in front of the camera, and photo editing on his tablet.


Darkseid is Showing Thanos How You REALLY Change Reality - Screen Rant

100 Fights to Watch at Home this Weekend – The Official Website of the Ultimate Fighting Championship

37. Junior dos Santos vs Mark Hunt UFC 160: Ever seen somebody get knocked out by the calf muscle? When Junior dos Santos throws wheel kicks anything can happen.

36. Sodiq Yusuff vs Mike Davis Dana Whites Contender Series: Sodiq made us all feel bad for Mike Davis. As if it wasnt hard enough to constantly chase down somebody as fast as Yusuff, couple that with the damage that was done to his lead leg. Ouch. If was pretty clear from the beginning Sodiq Yusuff was here to stay.

35. Danny Silva vs Johnny Soto CFFC 75: The whole card could have easily gone home after the early card barn burner between Danny Silva and Johnny Soto. It almost looked like two hungry Justin Gaethjes out there swinging for the fences.

34. Phil Baroni vs Ikuhisa Minowa PRIDE Bushido 11: Neither man had exactly a groundbreaking presence in the world of MMA but with bell to bell action and a finish by stomps, Baroni and Minows 1 was one of the most underrated fights in PRIDE FC history.

33. Phil Baroni vs Nick Nolte Titan FC 17: While were here, lets go back to the day Phil Baroni fought a man named Nick Nolte. Not that Nick Nolte. The Nick Nolte from Kansas City with a handful of fights on UFC FIGHT PASS. With the nickname of The Kansas City Head Case, theyre definitely cut from the same cloth.

32. Murilo Rua vs Alex Reid Cage Rage 21: Hopefully youve got a strong stomach. A freak leg kick ended the fight before it began. No bones were broken, but when Alex Reid threw a low leg kick the worst part of the bone must have come in heavy contact with the best part of Ninja Ruas because blood began pouring out like a faucet.

31. Eddie Alvarez vs Ross Ebenez ShoXC 4: Trumps Taj Mahal played host to an up and coming Eddie Alvarez doing what he does best all the way back in 2008.

30. Semmy Schilt vs Masakatsu Funaki Pancrase 1998 Anniversary Show: Semmy Schilt might have more fights on UFC FIGHT PASS so theres no way he wasnt making the cut. One of his most exciting finishes came in Pancrase where Funaki ate one too many body punches before calling it a night.

29. Sarah Kaufman vs Valerie Letourneau TKO 29: After a somewhat uneventful first round, Sarah Kaufman came out swinging for the fences in the second round and landed punches until the ref had had enough.

28. Minoru Suzuki vs Ken Shamrock Pancrase: Eyes of Beast 4: One of the greatest title fights in Pancrase history was between two of the most decorated legends in the promotions history. While it was short lived, fans and fighters alike knew the one round affair was indisputably between the most worthy title challengers in the world.

27. Kimbo Slice vs Tank Abbott EliteXC: Street Certified: As far as the history of Kimbos career goes, this was the most entertaining matchup possible. EliteXC knew exactly what they were doing when they booked the two most notorious street brawlers of all time to go against each other. The only thing the fans would change would be that the fight was a few years too late.

26. Alistair Overeem vs Vitor Belfort PRIDE Total Elimination 2005: This fight could have taken place anywhere, with both men fighting for nearly every major promotion its a surprise this fight only happened twice. The most exciting of the pair of fights coming at PRIDE Total Elimination 2005. The bout came to a conclusion when Ubereem put Belfort in a guillotine more terrifying than a real guillotine.

25. Marius Zaromskis vs Ross Mason Cage Rage 22: After two rounds of slugging it out, Ross Mason thought he had seen everything Marius Zaromskis had up his sleeve. When Zaromskis landed a kick to the face that would have dropped lesser men, Mason stood smiling welcoming anything else. Mason next landed a flying knee that sent Mason flopping to the canvas.

24. Jared Cannonier vs Tony Lopez AFC 104: After watching the walkouts its possible that Jared Cannonier is the most popular person to ever walk to the AFC cage. The ring announcer jinxed the action when he asked the crowd if they wanted to see a knockout. What they got instead was a split decision battle that launched Cannonier into the UFC.

23. Herb Dean vs Timothy Mendoza KOTC 39: Hitmaster: With the hair and the referee outfit you dont often glance at the ears but if you were to look at the ears of Herb Dean, youll notice a little bit of cauliflower to them. He earned it the hard way after a six-year MMA career.

22. Mark Schultz vs Gary Goodridge UFC 9: Less than four months after the murder of his brother, the subject of the movie Foxcatcher stepped into The Octagon and used wrestling to absolutely dominate Gary Goodridge handing him his second MMA loss.

21. Rickson Gracie vs Nobuhiko Takada PRIDE 1: Rickson Gracies career was short-lived but dominant and its fights like this one that let us know that theres only one fight were missing on UFC FIGHT PASS. Rickson vs Sakuraba.

20. Kurt Holobaugh vs Yosdenis Cedeno Titan FC 42: Pushing himself and Yosdenis Cedeno to the limit for over three rounds, Kurt Holobaugh was finally able to finish the fight with a rear-naked choke to earn a title shot with JZ Cavalcante.

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100 Fights to Watch at Home this Weekend - The Official Website of the Ultimate Fighting Championship

The Mandalorian casts Terminator and Aliens legend Michael Biehn as bounty hunter in Disney+ season 2 – The Irish Sun

THE Mandalorian is bringing in a new cast member who knows a thing or two about aliens.

Terminator and Aliens star Michael Biehn has been cast in season 2 of the Disney+ Star Wars spinoff.


As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Biehn has joined the cast as a bounty hunter from The Mandalorian's past.

No further information has been given about his role in the show.

If the name sounds familiar, Beihn took the pivotal role in 1984's The Terminator as cyborg hunter Dwayne Hicks.

More recently, he has appeared in The Abyss, Navy SEALs, Tombstone and The Rock.



The Mandalorian character will be his most prominent role in more than a decade.

Beihn has also dabbled in TV, with starring roles on Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Criminal Minds.

Beihn joins Rosario Dawson, who is set to play Ahsoka Tona in season 2, a former Clone Wars fan favourite.

The second season is set to air in October, later this year.

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Many of the characters in the show's first season are also set to return.

Pedro Pascal will continue his role as The Mandalorian/Din Djarin and Gina Carano is expected to return as Cara Dunne, ex-shock trooper.

Fans will be happy to know that baby Yoda AKA The Child will also be back for the second season.

The Mandalorian's first two episodes are available to stream on Disney+, with new episodes available every Friday.


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The Mandalorian casts Terminator and Aliens legend Michael Biehn as bounty hunter in Disney+ season 2 - The Irish Sun

Walking the Walk and Heeding the Talk for Now – The SandPaper

(File Photo by Ryan Morrill)

I went for a drive to the park with my family. I asked myself questions I never thought Id ask myself. Should I have my window open in the car? What if that guy in front of me spits out his window? What if the guy in the car passing by with his window open sneezes? What about that lady on the sidewalk? Am I too close? I was sweating stupid sweat.

It was a gorgeous afternoon. Perfect. The kind I would have every window of my car open and the music blaring. I live for days like this, but the sight of two full parking lots as we entered the park filled me with dread. So. Many. People.

We drove around the park, and there were people everywhere. They were passing each other with less than 6 feet of clearance. Dont they know? Why arent they social distancing? Six feet people, 6 feet! If we get out of the car and go for a walk, will they ignore the minimum distance when I pass? What if they cough? I turned around and left the park. We decided to just walk around the block from home.

I went for a walk to the lake up the street. Every fellow pedestrian was now a threat. I felt like a cyborg tracking every movement of every human within sight. Plans were made to change trajectory if someone was coming toward us. What if we cant get enough space? What if, what if, what if? Thats all that was rattling around my mind. And we did walk pass some. We said hello. We waved. And people did come within 6 feet, and it felt like every molecule within me was screaming red alert. What to do? What to do?

You accept it. You keep walking.

And we did. We kept walking and took in stunning views of the lake on an amazing day. My kids panicked, not at people, but at a wasp that was flying around their heads. Old-school panic. That was good panic, if a little overboard on their part (but, hey, they hate wasps).

On the way home I started thinking about the level of nonsensical stress coursing through my body every minute of this family walk. It made no sense to me. I mean, I definitely understood why it was happening I am a recovering germaphobe, and here I am facing every one of those old feelings pouring anxiety into my system, fed by a worldwide pandemic. This was always just for the movies, not real life, right? But here we are.

My takeaway from this walk on this gorgeous afternoon was this were not going to be able to stay home. If I am out already, theres no way the public is going to stay inside on gorgeous days. We are outside people. We treasure the outdoors. Our nation is all about crossing borders into nature and life. And despite every fear I had about going out, I still did. Were not going to stay inside. Were not.

So the next thought is well, I guess were all just going to have to take our chances. I dont think the self-quarantine will work once the weather gets warm. I dont think you can pen up a free society that long. Were all willing to do it right now.We want to play our part in flattening the curve.

I had felt as though I could do this for months. One nice day in and Im not so sure. The call to the shore will be absolutely irresistible come late June, maybe earlier. I dont see how this will ultimately work. The panic thoughts erupt again which way will we go? Will it come to martial law to keep us home, or will we just open society and keep testing people, separating the sick as we go? If you get it, you get it. Some would live and some would die. And that thought is terrifying, too, because we would all think wed be on the living side, but some will not be, and we are already seeing evidence that this is not just an older persons problem anymore.

No, no, that will not do, so we have to stay at home and do our part for the greater good, for however long it takes to give our hospitals a chance to save the most lives. Into the great unknown from home we go, I guess.

So I went for a walk today and I heard a voice from Italy.

Hi, Scott. How are you? About what you wrote today going to the park I hope you dont take this as an intrusion. They have forbidden us to walk outside without serious purpose (like grocery, health issues or work). They closed every shop that doesnt sell food or medicine. Thats how bad things are here in Italy.

They are doing that because people cant simply follow one essential rule: stay at home. In Bergamo so many died they had to be moved elsewhere because the cemetery couldnt handle that many dead!

Sure, we have the second oldest population in the world, and we dont have such huge spaces as you do in in the U.S. We have a different health system (ours is having trouble with so many sick people in such short time). The quarantine is mostly for that, since it is a highly contagious virus. We need to slow it down and give time for our health system to make room for everybody.

Three weeks ago we had our last Sunday brunch out with the kids, and we thought the officials made too much fuss about a bad cold. Only three weeks ago, and now look at us.

I dont want to scare you. Well, maybe I do.Just think about it and please take care! Elena.

Scott Mazzella, author ofSurviving Sandy: Long Beach Island and the Greatest Storm of the Jersey Shore, lives in Matawan, N.J., and is a frequent visitor at his familys house in Holgate.

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Walking the Walk and Heeding the Talk for Now - The SandPaper

Super Promotions: 10 Teen Characters Who Graduated To The Avengers Or Justice League – CBR – Comic Book Resources

There's a general rule in comics that characters rarely really change or grow. Batman and Superman will always be in their mid-30s. Everything in the Marvel universe will have happened in the last 10 years. This keeps things stable and simple and, in theory, easy for everyone to enjoy the stories.

RELATED:DC Comics: 5 Superheroes Who Improve With A Sidekick (& 5 Who Are Better Off Solo)

But some characters break this rule. They grow up and change and become something different. They move from the kids table to the adult table during the big superhero get-togethers and live it up as one of the big-time superheroes. What does it take to make it to the big leagues? How does a young hero get bumped up to the next level? There's no one answer to those questions, but here are 10 teen superheroes who graduated to the Avengers or Justice League...

Firestar is a rare character who got two promotions in her superhero career. She was created to act as the third hero in the classic animated series Spider-Man and His Amazing Friendsbut finally came to the Marvel Comics universe two years after the cartoon was canceled when she showed up in Uncanny X-Men #193.

Sometime later, Firestar would become a founding member of the New Warriors where comic fans would really get to know the character. When her New Warriors co-founder and boyfriend Justice decided to leave the team and try out for the Avengers, Firestar joined him. Both of the young heroes made the team.

Probably the most famous of all the superhero graduates, Wally West, the third Flash, went from pre-teen sidekick to founding member of the Teen Titans to founding member of the Justice League International offshootJustice League Europe before becoming a member of the Justice League proper.

For quite a while, Wally West stood out as the sidekick who made good on the promise. While other sidekicks have taken over for their mentors, Wally was the one who kept it going the longest, running for over 20 years before he got sent back down to the minors. Since then, DC has struggled to figure out what to do with the character, much to the chagrin of his fans.

Starting off as one of the Young Avengers, Hulkling is a KreeSkrull hybrid who uses his shapeshifting abilities to take on the characteristics of the original Hulk. As time went on, Hulkling started to become his own identity, thanks in part to his budding relationship with Wiccan. Hulkling started to use his powers to, among other things, grow wings and fly.

RELATED:Marvel Comics: 5 Superheroes Who Improve With A Sidekick (& 5 Who Are Better Off Solo)

After his time with the Young Avengers, Hulkling joined the New Avengers alongside Wiccan, Squirrel Girl, and a few other heroes. The team didn't last long, but Hulkling is plenty busy these days being the new ruler of the Kree-Skrull Alliance and helping plan the invasion of Earth for "the final war", which we'll all get to see in Marvel's upcoming Empyre event.

Growing up called "Night Boy" by his neighbors, Ray Terrill never left the house because of a deadly allergy to sunlight. At least, that was what he had been told. On his deathbed, Ray's dad reveals the truth; Ray was born with superpowers that are activated by the sun, but he couldn't control them. Now in his teens, Ray was ready to go out into the world and make a name for himself.

Taking a different path than most teen heroes, Ray skipped the lesser teams and was recruited into the Justice League when the team was looking to power up after the death of Superman. After about a year with the League, Ray left to join Young Justice and be with people his own age.

A founding member of the New Mutants, Roberto da Costa used his mutant abilities to absorb solar energy and turn it into a variety of powers like superstrength and solar blasts to help mutantdom. As Sunspot, Roberto has been a member of a number of teams, including X-Force and Young X-Men before becoming a member of the Avengers. Sunspot used his family's money to buy out A.I.M. and change it from the terrorist group Advanced Idea Mechanics to Avengers Idea Mechanics and forms his own Avengers team, New Avengers. After the New Avengers folded, Sunspot became the leader of U.S. Avengers.

Created by Geoff Johns and Lee Moder, Courtney Whitmore took on the superhero identity Star-Spangled Kid after learning that her stepfather was the original Star-Spangled Kid. Early into her career, Courtney joined the JSA and was gifted the cosmic staff by Starman when he decided to get out of the hero game. She changed her name to Stargirl and continued to make her mark as part of comics' first superhero team.

In the New 52 continuity, Stargirl joined the Justice League of America and was used as the face of this government back version of the classic team. After this iteration of Justice League of America dissolved, Stargirl joined Justice League United.

Created by Ultron, Victor Mancha grew up thinking he was a normal kid living a normal life with his normal single mother. He had no idea he was destined to become a supervillain called Victorious who would destroy the Avengers and rule the world in the near future. Thanks to the Runaways, Victor learned of his future and worked to make sure it would never come to pass.After the Age of Ultron event, Victor joined Hank Pym's Avengers A.I., a team that included Victor's "older brother" Vision, a Doombot, and Nick Fury's ex-wife, Monica Chang.

Originally a member of the Marv Wolfman and George Perez's New Teen Titans, Cyborg gained his cybernetic powers in a less than ideal way when he was caught in an explosion. To save his life, Cyborg's dad took what little of his son he could and transferred it to a robotic body powered by a Mother Box.

RELATED:10 Marvel Heroes Who Would Make Great Batman Sidekicks

While Cyborg was always a member of the Titans, he found himself being a part of the new Justice League after Doctor Manhattan had messed with the timestream, as seen in Doomsday Clock. He may have gotten the promotion in a weird way, but there's no doubt that Cyborg has the skills and powers that make him a good fit for the Justice League.

Just a high school student when he joined his sister, her fiance, and her fiance's college buddy for a trip into outer space in an experimental rocket ship, Johnny Storm became the Human Torch after being exposed to cosmic rays.

While he is first and foremost a member of Marvel's first superhero team, the Fantastic Four, he joined the Avengers for a time while Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman were missing and presumed dead. Johnny had inherited the fortune of the Fantastic Four and used it to rebuild Avengers Mansion.

The first Robin, Dick Grayson not only gave birth to the kid sidekick concept, but he was also a founding member of the Teen Titans, acting as the team's leader for decades in the comics. Even when he gave up the Robin persona and became Nightwing, Dick stayed with his Titans teammates, but when he took over the Batman persona for the second time.

As with his first run as Batman, Dick didn't stay in the cape and cowl for long, and returned to the Titans when he went back to being Nightwing. Of all the grown-up sidekicks in the DC universe, Dick isn't the only one who should be on the Justice League, but he is the only one who has the skills needed to lead the team.

NEXT:5 Best DC Sidekicks (& 5 Marvel Sidekicks)

NextSword Art Online: 5 Leafa Costumes We Loved (& 5 She Should Never Wear Again)

Born and raised in New York, Derek Faraci moved to Los Angeles in 2001 where he worked as a freelance writer before taking a position at Activision where he worked on many successful franchises including Spider-Man, Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero.In October 2009, Derek left Activision to join Scientifically Proven Entertainment. Since joining SPE, Derek has worked on Man vs. Wild: The Game and the film Sucker directed by Michael Manasseri.Given the option, Derek would spend all of his time watching movies and reading comics.

See the rest here:

Super Promotions: 10 Teen Characters Who Graduated To The Avengers Or Justice League - CBR - Comic Book Resources

15 Female UFC Fighters In Their Workout And Gym Gear | TheThings – TheThings

UFC fighters were none too pleased after Dana White and the company agreed to a deal exclusively with Reebok. Some fighters love to show off their own personal taste while promoting a specific company that couldve led to more dollars for the fighters individually, however that ship sailed once UFC inked the deal with the popular retailer.

Due to the deal, the workout gear of choice for the UFC females is oftentimes something from the brand. Clearly, as well come to realize on this list, they always pull off the look. In addition to showcasing the gear, well also delve into their rigorous workouts.

Enjoy the article folks and like always be sure to share it with a friend. Without further ado, lets get started.

Wed hesitate to workout alongside Cris Cyborg, especially on the road to a big fight.

Most of us get exhausted just watching her routines, which feature some serious cardio drills, like being attached to a rope, which just adds even more resistance to her movements. She also has the mask on which cuts down oxygen, accelerating your heart and lung rate. Beast mode.

Related -18 Rare Pics Behind The Scenes At UFC Events

She might not have the best UFC record however, in the looks department, Rachael is a legend and among the elite. Her workout photos kind of resemble something a fitness IG influencer would post.

Her outfits always seem to be on point however, when its time to prep for a fight, those fitness routines change drastically.

We respect VanZants hustle, even with an arm injury shes getting it done, when theres a will theres a way.

Wisely, she uses a modified squat machine which uses no upper body tension whatsoever this is one of the elite machines strictly focusing on the glute, hamstring and quad contraction.

Without a doubt, most of us approve in relation to Tates workout outfit of choice, two thumbs up. The legend provides quite the service with her own home workout routine online, to all of her members.

The 33-year-old seems to be aging in reverse, she can also be followed via IG, where she posts more workout and healthy eating footage.

You dont get the label of Karate Hottie by accident. Waterson is often time considered the best-looking UFC fighter in the game.

The vet can also bring it in the octagon, prior to her loss to Joanna Jedrzejczyk, she was on an impressive three-fight win streak. We hope to see her back in training and in the octagon soon.

Holly Holm is a beast. We really dont need to say much else, during her training sessions she ups the tempo to the next level.

In the pic above, shes hitting a wide-grip pull-up, while showing off her middle back and lats Holm definitely picked the perfect outfit to flex those back muscles.

Related -16 Fighters That Are Banned From UFC Events

She hasnt lost a fight in nearly six years, let that sink in for a second. Ever since her 2014 loss to Cat Zingano, Nunes has gone on a devastating win streak, defeating ten opponents in a row, in the span of more than five years.

Amanda has defeated the best of the best shes doing something right during her training sessions.

So, who did Amanda Nunes last defeat come against? Cat Zingano, the MMA legend easily disposed of Nunes in the third round by way of knockout.

In the pic above, we see The Alpha in her signature pink colors. She was known for her flashy pink attire back in the day during her prime run.

Joanna represents true heart in the world of MMA. Her bout against Weili most recently showed that once again, it was the top fight of 2020 with Joanna refusing to quit.

Shes a big public figure for the UFC, here, shes working a promotional shoot for the company while rocking her Reebok gear.

Related -15 Little Known Facts About Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Speaking of heart, we turn to Rose Namajunas who defeated Joanna in back-to-back matches.

While rocking her fitness gear, shes hitting an upper-body cable movement which requires lots of core strength along with stability. She always has her game face on, whether it be hitting the gym for a workout or promoting a fight for the UFC.

She should change her nickname from the Lil Bulldog to the Ripped Bulldog. When it is time to prep for a fight, Herrig takes herconditioning to the next level.

We get a snippet of that during this post-workout pic, as the abs seem to be popping out of everywhere.

Often times prior to a fight, some of the fighters put on an exhibition which usually features a little bit of stretching along with a sparring session specifically for the fans.

Valentina has some scary mobility on the ground, as evidenced by the shot above. Shes rocking her Reebok gear, contractually, shes obligated to rep the brand as are the rest of the UFC fighters.

UFC fans were eager to see Pena back in the octagon come March 28th, as she was slated to take on Aspen Ladd. Of course, given the current circumstances, the match was canceled for a later date.

Lets admire Pena instead, as shes rocking the Reebok top with some Lululemon bottoms a pretty good combo if you ask us.

The UFC must be smiling from ear to ear looking at this photo, as Claudia Gadelha is rocking the Reebok gear and doing a darn good job at that.

It truly doesnt get any better than an empty gym and why not snap a quick photo for all your followers in the meantime.

As the meatheads say, dress for a workout like youre going to your own funeral well, Zhang definitely masters that concept in the pic above.

Her work ethic is off the charts and that has been on full-display given her recent run as one of the most dominant fighters in the game.

Next 15 Candid Pics Of UFC Stars With Their Families

Sources IG, Sherdog & YouTube

Next10 Reasons Why Ronda Rousey Should Return To The UFC (And 6 Why She Shouldn't)


15 Female UFC Fighters In Their Workout And Gym Gear | TheThings - TheThings

DCEU: 10 Ways The Slate Has Changed Since The Franchise Began – Screen Rant

Although there was a lot of promise in the idea of a shared universe of films based on DC Comics properties, the DC Extended Universe got off to a very shaky start. After the middling success, both critically and commercially, of Zack Snyders Man of Steel, Warner Bros. went gung ho in their attempts to catch up to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

RELATED:4 Movies Warner Bros. Should Remove From DCEU Canon (& 4 They Should Keep)

Batman, Wonder Woman, and the rest of the Justice League were introduced in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ahead of an ensemble team-up just one year later. As the franchise has recovered from these blunders, the development slate has changed significantly. Here are 10 ways the DCEU deviated from the original plan.

Ben Afflecks take on the role of Batman was one of the few things that was praised about Batman v Superman. However, after his casting was met with backlash and then he faced ruthless reception to the movie and then became disillusioned with all the mid-filming changes to Justice League, the actor decided to quit the DCEU.

Hes since been replaced by Robert Pattinson, who will play a younger, less experienced version of Bruce Wayne than the one Affleck played. Pattinson will debut in the 2021 solo movie that Affleck was originally slated to write and direct.

The DCEUs Avengers-style superhero team-up, Justice League, was initially announced as two movies Justice League Part One and Justice League Part Two although producer Deborah Snyder insisted that it wouldnt be one movie split in half. The first one was set to arrive on November 17, 2017, while the second was set to arrive on June 14, 2019.

A Justice League movie did make the November 2017 release, but Part One was dropped from its title and painfully obvious reshoots made it more of a standalone piece. After that movies box office disappointment and Ben Afflecks departure as Batman, a sequel was never made.

Before Suicide Squad came out, there were plans for a movie centered around Margot Robbies Harley Quinn and Jared Letos Joker, under the working title Harley Quinn vs The Joker. The movie was set to be written, directed, and produced by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who had previously worked with Robbie on Focus and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

RELATED:5 Things The DCEU Needs To Change (& 5 Things It Should Keep The Same)

However, a Joker movie was made without Letos involvement and Robbie focused on Birds of Prey, which revealed early on that Harley Quinn had broken up with the Joker.

Ray Fishers on-screen portrayal of Victor Stone, a.k.a. Cyborg has been given the short end of the DCEU stick. He was supposed to get a solo movie on April 3, 2020, but it appears to have been canceled, as there hasnt been official word on it for years.

In Zack Snyders original version of Justice League, Cyborg was supposed to have a much larger role, with his whole origin story being filled in, but when Warner Bros. took over the project, most of Cyborgs scenes were cut. As long as the arc of Victors backstory has been shot and those scenes exist, surely the studio can cut together a solo movie for fans of this fascinating, conflicted character.

When Warner Bros. executives were first putting together the DCEUs release slate, a movie about the Flash was set to hit multiplexes in 2018. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, Seth Grahame-Smith, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, Rick Famuyiwa have all come and gone from the project over the years. Ezra Miller even resorted to writing his own script at one point.

Right now, the film is set to be helmed by Andy Muschietti for a July 1, 2022 release. But of course, as history has shown, we shouldnt put too much stock into a release date that Warner Bros. sets for a Flash solo movie.

Emulating Marvels signature style, Warner Bros. slapped a post-credits scene on the end of Justice League that revealed Lex Luthor to have escaped from prison and taken a yacht out on the high seas.

RELATED:10 Mistakes The DCEU Made That Prevented It From Matching The MCU's Success

Hes introduced to Deathstroke, played by Joe Manganiello, who seemed to be set up for a larger role as a villain in the DCEUs future. In the three years since Justice League hit theaters, this tease hasnt been paid off.

When Zack Snyderhad to step down fromJustice Leaguedue to a personal tragedy, Joss Whedon stepped in to finish the film for him. Having been impressed with his work, Warner Bros. then hired Whedon to write, direct, and produce a movie about Batgirl. However, just under a year after signing on, Whedon quit the movie.

Its still in development, with Birds of Preys Christina Hodson working on the script, but its nowhere near as close to production as it was when Whedon was at the helm.

After the release of Suicide Squad, Jared Leto signed on to executive produce and star in a Joker solo movie. However, an unrelated Joker film was since released that became the first R-rated movie to gross over $1 billion and was nominated for more Academy Awards than any other movie of the year.

Letos unusual portrayal of the Joker was never very popular among fans, and thats even more prevalent after Joaquin Phoenixs Oscar-winning take blew Leto out of the water, so a Leto-led Joker movie being released after that would feel a little redundant.

It seems crazy that a Justice League movie was made without Green Lantern. Its like Marvel making an Avengers movie without Thor; hes a key member of the team who brings some very unique powers and character traits to the table, so its not the same without him.

RELATED:10 Cues The DCEU's Green Lantern Movie Should Take From Guardians Of The Galaxy

The Green Lanterns did appear very briefly in Justice League, during the Mother Box montage, but we havent been introduced to a specific character, like Hal Jordan or John Stewart. And although a movie titled Green Lantern Corps was dated for June 19, 2020, its clearly not happening.

Zack Snyders Man of Steel is the movie that first kicked off the DCEU. Batman v Superman was essentially a sequel to Man of Steel, but Warner Bros. has consistently promised a direct sequel to the film focusing solely on Superman. Matthew Vaughn and Christopher McQuarrie have separately been in talks with the studio to helm the project, but in both cases, the negotiations fell through.

Michael B. Jordan has pitched his own take on Superman, which sounds exciting, but he wasnt ready to commit to the role just yet. With the Henry Cavill-starringThe Witcher taking off on Netflix, a Man of Steel sequel is looking less and less likely.

NEXT:5 Reasons We Need Man Of Steel 2 (& 5 Why We Don't)

Next10 Things That Happened in Season 1 of Game Of Thrones That You Completely Forgot About

Ben Sherlock writes for Screen Rant and CBR, covering a wide range of topics from Scorsese to Seinfeld. He also makes independent films, performs standup comedy, and bores people with Star Wars trivia.He's currently working on his debut feature and he sits atop a throne made of unproduced screenplays. Previously, he wrote for Taste of Cinema and BabbleTop.

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DCEU: 10 Ways The Slate Has Changed Since The Franchise Began - Screen Rant

Here is every UFC womens champion in the history of the promotion – FanSided

A championship is built brick by brick by each and ever champion to win that championship. In the history of the UFC, there have been four divisions for the women, with 13 female fighters capturing gold. Each name has helped build the prestige of the UFCs championships.

Thats why today were looking at each champion from all the divisions.

Germaine de Randamie defeated Holly Holm to win the inaugural womens featherweight championship but was stripped of the title after refusing to defend the belt against Cris Cyborg Justino.

Justino defeated Holly Holm to crown a new champion after de Randamie was stripped of the title. Shed go on to defend the title twice before losing it.

Amanda Nunes beat Justino for the championship and has held it ever since, becoming the first woman in UFC history to win two divisional titles at the same time, and becoming the first woman to hold two titles at the same time.

Becoming the first womens champion in UFC history, Ronda Rousey was gifted the UFC bantamweight championship after coming over as Strikeforce bantamweight champion.

Holly Holm KOed her way to history after stopping Rousey on her seventh title defense.

Holm wouldnt have a long run after Miesha Tate caught her in a rare naked choke with 1:30 left in the fight.

Nunes first title win came against Tate and started off a run of successful title defenses in the division.

Like de Randamie before her, Nicco Montao never got to defend her title. Unlike de Randamie, Montao was stripped of her title due to complications due to weight cutting issues.

Valentina Schevchenko became the first woman to successfully defend the womens flyweight championship after defeating former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejzyk to win the belt.

The first womens strawweight champion was crowned on the Ultimate Fighter season 20 finale when Carla Esparza defeated Rose Namajunas.

Jedrzejczyk defeated Esparza to win the championship and would have five successful defenses as champion.

Namajunas would rebound to losing to Esparza by being the one who dethroned Jedrzejczyk. Shed win the rematch against Jedrzejczyk.

After winning the rematch, Namajunas would lose the title to Jessica Andrade. She wouldnt hold it for long.

In her home country of China, Weili Zhang defeated Andrade, becoming the first fighter of Chinese descent to win a UFC championship.

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Here is every UFC womens champion in the history of the promotion - FanSided

Meet The STAR WARS: BOUNTY HUNTERS of Marvel’s New Comic – Screen Rant

Its a tale of revenge and retribution in the galactic underworld when cyborg Beilert Valance, Boba Fett and Bossk are confronted by the scoundrel that double-crossed them all, in Star Wars: Bounty Hunters from Marvel Comics. The new Galaxys Deadliest story arc from Star Wars veterans, writer Ethan Sacks and artist Paolo Villanelli brings together the most notorious bounty hunters to settle the score with a turncoat that swindled the most nefarious syndicate in the sector. The ensemble cast of scum and villainy is joined by tomb-raider Doctor Aphra and the Wookiee Black Krrsantan in an ongoing monthly series that promises to round up more than just the usual subjects.

The Star Wars galaxy can get a little rough, whether its in the seedy cantinas of Mos Eisley or running spice across the Rishi Maze, and criminal clans and cartels coerce vulnerable systems and plunder starlanes beyond the reach of the Galactic Empire and often under their very eyes. The five syndicates, as they are known in the trade, are Black Sun, Crimson Dawn, the Crymorah syndicate, the Hutt Clan, and the Pyke Syndicate and constituents includes calculating smugglers, violent mercenaries, and relentless bounty hunters, often selling their services on a contract-basis.

Related:Star Wars Drops A Major Clue To Project Luminous

Soldiers of fortune, sworn to the Code of Bounty Hunters Guild, the uncompromising trackers pursue their marks from the furthest depths of wild space to the lower reaches of Coruscants underbelly. The ranks of these infamous mercenaries include some of the most popular characters in the Star War Universe, such as Zam Wesell and Jango Fett from Attack of the Clones, Asajj Ventriss, Aurra Sing, and Cad Bane from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and IG-88, 4-LOM, and Zuckuss from The Empire Strikes Back. In the courts of the gangster Hutts and secret guild safehouses scattered across distant starports, bounty hunters backstab rivals over high-stakes contracts and in the employ of conspicuous clients.

In Star Wars: Bounty Hunters, creators Ethan Sacks and Paolo Villanelli take aim at cyborg Beilert Valance, elite mercenary from Star Wars: Target Vader and Han Solo, Imperial Cadet. A morally-bankrupt villain that pilfers bounties from fellow hunters, Beilert Valance has hunted Vader, murdered his rivals under dubious circumstances, and is considered both a failure of the Empire and a failure of the Bounty Hunters Guild. When a mentor, Nakano Lash botches a mission at an Unbroken Clan outpost and kills the client in Galaxys Deadliest: Ghosts of Corellia, Valance and his allies the volatile Trandoshan Bossk and the dour Boba Fett find theyve been hoodwinked once again, and vow to take revenge on the Nautolan bounty hunter.

While the helmed hunter-for-hire Boba Fett and the lizard-like Bossk are familiar faces for fans of the film franchise, Valance is lesser known though the character pre-dates both his fellow villains in the pages of Marvel Comics. First appearing in 1978s Star Wars issue 18, cyborg bounty hunter Valance stalks the cover of an Archie Goodwin/Walt Simonson classic, alongside the likes of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Chewbacca, later earning the name Beilert in The Hunt Within: Valance's Tale, a series of scenarios for the Star Wars Miniatures game from Wizards of the Coast. Valance resurfaced most recently in the comic book adaptation of Solo: A Star Wars Story and in Star Wars: Han Solo, Imperial Cadet though it wasnt until he picked up a contract, in 2019s Star Wars: Target Vader, to snuff a Sith Lord with a team of snipers and trackers, including the Corellian, Dengar, that Beilert Valance made his mark on the galaxy. Now the contract-killer has reunited with Bossk and Fett in the ongoing Star Wars: Bounty Hunters, set in the wake of the pivotal events portrayed in The Empire Strikes Back.

Competition is stiff in the gig-economy of bounty hunting, and fickle allies can turn a profit trafficking information on a former friend. The substantial price on the head of Valances erstwhile mentor, Nakano Lash sends unsavory bounty hunters from across Known Space scrambling to cash-in on the big-ticket hit. In Star Wars: Bounty Hunters, the enticing contract for Lashs life, however perilous, attracts famed archeologist and saboteur Doctor Aphra and her crew-member, Black Krrsantan, whose unmatched expertise earned the Wookiee a contract from Lord Vader himself.

RELATED:Star Wars Easter Egg Brings FIRST Novel Back Into Canon?

The rogues gallery of bounty hunters assembled in the "Galaxys Deadliest: Ghosts of Corellia story arc to collect on the first-rate reward includes the ambitious, green-skinned Ooris, murder and schemer that attempted feed Han Solo and Chewbacca to the tentacled mouths of a sarlacc nursery in the premier issue of Ethan Sacks Star Wars: Galaxys Edge. And Tonga, twin-sister of a bounty hunter slain by Lash during the botched raid on the Unbroken Clan that earned her death warrant, has journeyed from the distant moon of Logal Ri to stake her claim, driven more by a desire for vengeance than for credits.

Star Wars: Bounty Hunters features some of the galaxys deadliest bounty hunters, as well as some of the franchises most talented creators. Ethan Sacks and Paolo Villanelli have crisscrossed the Star Wars Universe, crafting tales of rebellions won and allies lost in Jedi: Fallen Order, Vader: Dark Visions, and Journey to Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker - Allegiance. With so much behind this new series, we can only say... Thank the Maker!

NEVER BETRAY A BOUNTY HUNTER - ESPECIALLY IF IT'S BOBA FETT! Years ago, VALANCE and fellow bounty hunters BOSSK and BOBA FETT took on a mission that went sideways in a bad way after Valance's mentor, NAKANO LASH, violently betrayed them. Valance's team barely escaped with their lives. He never thought he'd face his old mentor ever again...until Lash finally resurfaces under mysterious circumstances. Every bounty hunter in the galaxy wants a piece and Valance is hell-bent on getting to the prize first. He has score to settle-but so does Boba Fett!

Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #1is available now at a comic book shop near you.

More:Star Wars: Every Main Bounty Hunter, Ranked From Weakest To Most Powerful

X-Men's Nightcrawler Meets His Mutant Match in [SPOILER]

SJ Twining is a Comics News/Features Writer at Screen Rant with a keen enthusiasm for Bronze Age comics, Dungeons & Dragons, Tolkien, Swords & Sorcery, Star Wars, Zenomorphs, Micronauts, Edgar Allan Poe, Elric of Melnibone, Maurice Sendak + collecting mushrooms. Contact: wanderingmonsters@icloud.com

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Meet The STAR WARS: BOUNTY HUNTERS of Marvel's New Comic - Screen Rant

Planet Earth Report Cyborgs Will Lead Us to an Intelligent Universe to a New Force of Nature – The Daily Galaxy –Great Discoveries Channel

Planet Earth Report provides descriptive links to headline news by leading science journalists about the extraordinary discoveries, technology, people, and events changing our knowledge of Planet Earth and the future of the human species. Our caffeine-inspired curation team scours the world, doing your work for you all in one place.

Gaia Will Soon Belong to the Cyborgs Cyborgs may be the start of a process that leads toward an intelligent universe, writes James Lovelock for Nautil.us. Our reign as sole understanders of the cosmos is rapidly coming to an end. The revolution that has just begun may be understood as a continuation of the process whereby the Earth nurtures the beings that will lead the cosmos to self-knowledge. What is revolutionary about this moment is that the understanders of the future will not be humans but cyborgs that will have designed and built themselves from the artificial intelligence systems we have already constructed who will soon become thousands then millions of times more intelligent than us.

The fifth force: Is there another fundamental force of nature? Scientists in Hungary claim to have found a new particle that reveals a fifth force of nature.In recent years, a group of Hungarian researchers have made headlines with a bold claim. They say theyve discovered a new particle dubbed X17 that requires the existence of a fifth force of nature, writes Eric Betz for Astronomy.com. The researchers werent looking for the new particle, though. Instead, it popped up as an anomaly in their detector back in 2015 while they were searching for signs of dark matter. The oddity didnt draw much attention at first. But eventually, a group of prominent particle physicists working at the University of California, Irvine, took a closer look and suggested that the Hungarians had stumbled onto a new type of particle one that implies an entirely new force of nature.

An Open Letter to Telescope Protesters in Hawaii. Why astronomy on Mauna Kea is not a desecration but a duty, writes Dana Mackenziefor Nautil.us. On July 15, 2019, after a court decision had cleared the way for astronomers to build a new mega-telescope, called the Thirty Meter Telescope, on Hawaiis Mauna Kea, a large group of protesters said, No. Pitching their camp directly on the access road to the top of Mauna Kea, the protesters, who called themselves kiai mauna (protectors of the mountain), pledged to stop any construction vehicles from passing. The kiai argue that the mountain is sacred to the native Hawaiian people, and that the construction of the TMT would desecrate it.

Humans Have Been Taking Out Insurance Policies for at Least 30,000 YearsA study of beads made from ostrich eggshells suggests the humans of the Kalahari Desert region formed social networks to help each other, writes Megan Gannon for Smithsonian.com,Its a really good adaptation to a desert environment like the Kalahari, which has huge spatial and temporal variability in resource distribution, says Brian Stewart, an archaeologist at the University of Michigan. It can be very rainy in one season and in the next absolutely dry, or it can be very rainy in your area and then 10 kilometers away, its just nothing. (Image courtesy of Brian A. Stewart, Yuchao Zhao, and the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology/John Klausmeyer)

The Strange Influence the Sun Has on Whales. A solar storm can throw whales off-course, suggesting that the large animals might have an internal compass, writes Ed Yong for The Atlantic. The first clear evidence that some animals have a magnetic sense came from a simple-enough experimentput an animal in a box, change the magnetic fields around it, and see where it heads. German scientists first tried this in the 1960s, with captive robins.

This Company Will Point Satellites at Earth and Use them to Look for UFOs. Hypergiant Industries has clients like NASA, Shell, and Booz Allen. It says it can use machine learning from satellite imagery to detect anomalies, writes Sarah Scoles for Vice.com. VY Canis Majoris is a hypergiant star 270,000 times as bright as the Sun, and if you plunked it down in the middle of our solar system, it would burn Saturn..And perhaps it is no surprise that theres a tech startup humbly eponymizing it: Hypergiant Industries, a company that aims, its website explains, to be the guiding light that solves humanitys most challenging problems.

The Man Making Rwanda Into a Hub for Physics. As the founding director of a new institute for fundamental research in Rwanda, the physicist Omololu Akin-Ojo hopes to stem the brain drain of Africas brightest minds, writes for Quanta.

Experts still dont know why so few cases of the new coronavirus have been reported in Africa, despite China where the virus originated being the continents top trading partner and the continent having a population of 1.3 billion people, writes Adam Vaughan for New Scientist.. Although the official number of cases in Egypt spiked from two to 59 over the weekend, including 33 people who were on a Nile cruise, across Africa the number of cases has stayed low. As of Tuesday morning there were just 95 official cases on the continent, though two countries Togo and Cameroon reported their first cases over the weekend. The spread in Africa is of concern because of the fragility of some countries healthcare systems, and the continent already faces big public health issues, particularly malaria, TB and HIV.

Coronavirus is hard on older people and scientists arent sure why. Understanding the age question could help researchers figure out how to treat the illness, particularly in older populations, writes Denise Chow for NBC MACH. Older adults appear to be more severely at risk from the new coronavirus, while young children seem to be largely spared and understanding why could be crucial to treating people with the illness it causes, according to scientists.

Why Deaths from Coronavirus Are So High in Italy. The nation now has the highest number of deaths from COVID-19 outside of mainland China, writes Rachael Rettner for LiveScience. Deaths from the new coronavirus in Italy have soared in recent days, with the country reporting 463 total fatalities from the virus, out of 9,172 confirmed cases, as of Monday (March 9). But why are deaths in the country so high?

The Coronavirus Will Shine a Bright Light On Crappy US Broadband, Much like the US healthcare system, US telecom infrastructure isnt ready for whats coming, writes Karl Bode for Vice Science. In the weeks and months to come, a growing number of US citizens are going to be forced to work from home in a bid to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. In the process theyre going to run face-first into a US broadband market that has consistently failed to provide quality, affordable broadband to those who need it most.

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Planet Earth Report Cyborgs Will Lead Us to an Intelligent Universe to a New Force of Nature - The Daily Galaxy --Great Discoveries Channel

‘War of the Worlds’ Episode 5: Killer cyborgs’ obsession with babies is show’s biggest mystery – MEAWW

Spoilers for 'War of the Worlds' Season 1 Episode 5

On the surface, EPIX's 'War of the Worlds' is a study in horror with a dystopian landscape that hits the viewer with continuous volleys of fear and foreboding. But beneath that layer, there is a strong element of mystery, primarily surrounding the aliens who seem to have randomly shown up and decided to start exterminating humans out of sheer hate.

Episode 5 finally shows us something more of these extraterrestrial monstrosities by revealing two important and confusing things about them. Firstly, a bunch of alien cyborgs appears confused and practically harmless, even while they are being toyed with and beaten up by a bunch of soldiers.

Bill Ward (Gabriel Byrne) suggests that the cyborgs we have seen so far may just be attack dogs being controlled by an external intelligence. The incident we mentioned happens after one of the alien transmission stations is destroyed so that could explain this anomaly. But the second weird thing we see in the episode is what's really got us scratching our heads.

It appears that the aliens are stealing babies, to the point where they actually rip a child out of a woman's womb. We have not seen any evidence that they are killing these children and so we have to assume they have a plan that involves using the infants.

One possibility is that the aliens are essentially a self-propagating war machine that finds planets where they exterminate all mature life, harvest organic cells from the very young and use them to create more killer cyborgs. Another possibility is that the aliens actually want to make the Earth a better place by destroying human society and giving the world a fresh start with the next generation.

Considering how little we know of the aliens, both possibilities are quite likely to be true and there is a pretty good chance that the truth, whatever it may be, is something far more twisted than anything we could imagine.

Do you have any theories about the aliens or what they are doing on Earth? Let us know in the comments.

New episodes of 'War of the Worlds' airs every Sunday at 9 pm ET, exclusively on EPIX.

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'War of the Worlds' Episode 5: Killer cyborgs' obsession with babies is show's biggest mystery - MEAWW

Patricio Freire’s title, tourney hopes on the line at closed Bellator event – ESPN

The Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix semifinals will be set Friday night. And that weight division's title will be on the line.

It all will happen in an empty Mohegan Sun Arena, as promotion president Scott Coker announced Thursday that, "out of an abundance of caution" over the coronavirus pandemic, Bellator 241 will be closed to the public. The fights will go on, in front of 10,000 empty seats in Uncasville, Connecticut.

The main event pits Patricio Freire against Pedro Carvalho in a fight whose importance is twofold. Freire, who reigns at both featherweight and lightweight, will be defending his 145-pound title. And the winner of the bout will not just be champion but will move on to the final four of the yearlong tournament.

In Bellator, the tourney is held not simply to determine a challenger for the champ. It includes the champ, testing him along the way.

In the co-main event, Emmanuel Sanchez and Daniel Weichel, both longtime Bellator featherweight stalwarts, will face off in another Grand Prix quarterfinal.

There are important fights up and down the card. Here's a look at what to watch for at Bellator 241.

Last September, Freire was granted "champion's choice" during Bellator's Grand Prix selection show. "Pitbull" was allowed to manipulate the bracket however he wanted, choosing his quarterfinal opponent and date. Freire tabbed Carvalho, the least-known fighter in the draw, as his foe. It was a very good strategic move. So was bouncing the other favorites in the field -- A.J. McKee and Darrion Caldwell -- to the other side of the bracket. Freire chose an easier path, as he should have.

2 Related

But how easy of a challenge is Carvalho? Not really that easy at all, truly. Carvalho is a 24-year-old prospect out of Portugal. He trains under John Kavanagh at SBG Ireland, rubbing shoulders with Conor McGregor, among others. Carvalho has won six straight, four of them via finish. Maybe Carvalho ends up being the surprise of this tournament.

Just like in any tournament, one of the most fun things is pegging who will be the sleepers. Weichel and Sanchez are two names people are not buzzing about. But they are both consistent and solid, with the ability to finish a fight either while standing or on the ground.

Sanchez has only two losses going back to 2015: to Freire and Weichel. He is seeking to avenge a 2016 split decision defeat to Weichel, a fight Sanchez believes he won. Weichel, meanwhile, has lost to Freire twice, but in their first fight he rocked the champion and in the second he took the Brazilian to a close split decision. Either one of these men has a chance to win this fight and give the Freire vs. Carvalho winner a tough time in the semifinals.

Daley, the exciting, charismatic British slugger, has won two straight after being ousted from the Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix by Michael Page in February 2019. He meets Sabah Homasi on Friday night. Homasi is a UFC veteran on a two-fight winning streak and is no easy test. If Daley passes it, he'll put himself in the conversation for a fight against welterweight champion Douglas Lima.

There is also the possibility that Daley could earn another date with Page, his countryman, with whom he has a rivalry. Daley called for that rematch against "MVP" after Daley stopped Saad Awad with strikes last October. At 37 years old, Daley is not still the same guy who came close to fighting for the UFC welterweight title 10 years ago. But he's still a lightning rod -- and still capable of putting foes to sleep with one left hook.

Who is next for Cyborg, the newly crowned Bellator women's featherweight champion? Perhaps the answer can be found on the Bellator 241 undercard. While it seems Arlene Blencowe has the inside track right now, either Smith or Miele can put her name in the hat with a big performance.

Monday through Friday, host Mina Kimes brings you an inside look at the most interesting stories at ESPN, as told by the top reporters and insiders on the planet. Listen

Smith was actually Cyborg's first UFC opponent in 2016 and is a friend of the champion. But she has lost just once since fighting Cyborg -- to Blencowe in November -- and her bouts are always exciting to watch. Miele, meanwhile, has won four straight and could position herself as a top contender with a win over a known commodity like Smith. Cyborg will surely be watching closely.

"Prospect" is an odd term. What does it really mean in MMA? Someone young? Someone unproven? Gracie isn't young. He's 30 years old. But in MMA, he's inexperienced, with just three pro fights -- all with Bellator, and all since 2018. Every one of his fights has ended with a submission win, which should come as no surprise given his last name. His family helped bring Brazilian jiu-jitsu to the United States and was essential in starting the UFC in 1993.

Robson is the youngest brother of Renzo Gracie and, of course, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. He has looked strong in MMA so far, and his challenge Friday will be Billy Goff, a 21-year-old Connecticut-based fighter who is 2-2, mostly with local regional promotions. This is very much a showcase fight for Robson, who should win. If he doesn't, we can definitely hit the brakes on that "prospect" distinction.

See more here:

Patricio Freire's title, tourney hopes on the line at closed Bellator event - ESPN

Scientists successfully created a cybernetic neural network – The Next Web

An international team of researchers spread out over three labs in Switzerland, Italy, and the UK have successfully joined artificial neurons and an organic neuron to form the first operational biological-artificial hybrid neural network.

Theyve made a cyborg.

The team set out to recreate a classic experiment showing how neurons can learn by transferring information through synapses.

In a classic neural network, various neurons light up in response to stimulus. Over time the neurons will require more or less stimulation to fire, thus demonstrating how neural networks adapt and learn.

Read: Scientists discover strong evidence of life on Mars

Weve studied this concept in organic neural networks such as those found in living brains, but this is the first time its been done with both living and artificial neurons.

Per the teams research paper:

We demonstrate a three-neuron brain-silicon network where memristive synapses undergo long-term potentiation or depression driven by neuronal firing rates.

The experiment involved three different neurons across three different geographical locations, connected via the Internet using standard TCP/IP.

The first, a silicon-based artificial neuron, resided in Switzerland where researchers used it to send information to another artificial neuron in the UK.

Connecting the two human-made neurons was an organic neuron derived from a lab rats brain in Italy which served as a bridge for information.

The scientists demonstrated the hybrid neural networks ability to learn by modifying the way the data was sent, thus causing the artificial neuron at the end of the transmission to require more or less stimulation to light up.

Theoretically, this experiment could be expanded exponentially. With enough artificial bridges mimicking natural synapses we may one day be able to emulate entire brain regions.

The implications could go as far as total-conversion cyborgs that retain only the bare minimum of organic brain material essentially, this could mean immortality.

But, more likely in this century, it means scientists may one day be able to repair damaged or abnormal brain regions. This could mean a cure for paralysis, dementia, and other brain disorders, even those currently considered irreparable.

Theres still plenty of work to be done. It takes hundreds of thousands of connections for even simple brain circuits to operate, the three-neuron approach is little more than proof of the concept.

But when full-on cyborgs walk the Earth, theyll trace their origins back to this research.

You can read the full paper here.

H/t: Singularity Hub

Published March 11, 2020 22:47 UTC

Excerpt from:

Scientists successfully created a cybernetic neural network - The Next Web

Scientists Linked Artificial and Biological Neurons in a Networkand Amazingly, It Worked – Singularity Hub

Scientists have linked up two silicon-based artificial neurons with a biological one across multiple countries into a fully-functional network. Using standard internet protocols, they established a chain of communication whereby an artificial neuron controls a living, biological one, and passes on the info to another artificial one.


Weve talked plenty about brain-computer interfaces and novel computer chips that resemble the brain. Weve covered how those neuromorphic chips could link up into tremendously powerful computing entities, using engineered communication nodes called artificial synapses.

As Moores law is dying, we even said that neuromorphic computing is one path towards the future of extremely powerful, low energy consumption artificial neural network-based computingin hardwarethat could in theory better link up with the brain. Because the chips speak the brains language, in theory they could become neuroprosthesis hubs far more advanced and natural than anything currently possible.

This month, an international team put all of those ingredients together, turning theory into reality.

The three labs, scattered across Padova, Italy, Zurich, Switzerland, and Southampton, England, collaborated to create a fully self-controlled, hybrid artificial-biological neural network that communicated using biological principles, but over the internet.

The three-neuron network, linked through artificial synapses that emulate the real thing, was able to reproduce a classic neuroscience experiment thats considered the basis of learning and memory in the brain. In other words, artificial neuron and synapse chips have progressed to the point where they can actually use a biological neuron intermediary to form a circuit that, at least partially, behaves like the real thing.

Thats not to say cyborg brains are coming soon. The simulation only recreated a small network that supports excitatory transmission in the hippocampusa critical region that supports memoryand most brain functions require enormous cross-talk between numerous neurons and circuits. Nevertheless, the study is a jaw-dropping demonstration of how far weve come in recreating biological neurons and synapses in artificial hardware.

And perhaps one day, the currently experimental neuromorphic hardware will be integrated into broken biological neural circuits as bridges to restore movement, memory, personality, and even a sense of self.

One important thing: this study relies heavily on a decade of research into neuromorphic computing, or the implementation of brain functions inside computer chips.

The best-known example is perhaps IBMs TrueNorth, which leveraged the brains computational principles to build a completely different computer than what we have today. Todays computers run on a von Neumann architecture, in which memory and processing modules are physically separate. In contrast, the brains computing and memory are simultaneously achieved at synapses, small hubs on individual neurons that talk to adjacent ones.

Because memory and processing occur on the same site, biological neurons dont have to shuttle data back and forth between processing and storage compartments, massively reducing processing time and energy use. Whats more, a neurons history will also influence how it behaves in the future, increasing flexibility and adaptability compared to computers. With the rise of deep learning, which loosely mimics neural processing as the prima donna of AI, the need to reduce power while boosting speed and flexible learning is becoming ever more tantamount in the AI community.

Neuromorphic computing was partially born out of this need. Most chips utilize special ingredients that change their resistance (or other physical characteristics) to mimic how a neuron might adapt to stimulation. Some chips emulate a whole neuron, that is, how it responds to a history of stimulationdoes it get easier or harder to fire? Others imitate synapses themselves, that is, how easily they will pass on the information to another neuron.

Although single neuromorphic chips have proven to be far more efficient and powerful than current computer chips running machine learning algorithms in toy problems, so far few people have tried putting the artificial components together with biological ones in the ultimate test.

Thats what this study did.

Still with me? Lets talk network.

Its gonna sound complicated, but remember: learning is the formation of neural networks, and neurons that fire together wire together. To rephrase: when learning, neurons will spontaneously organize into networks so that future instances will re-trigger the entire network. To wire together, downstream neurons will become more responsive to their upstream neural partners, so that even a whisper will cause them to activate. In contrast, some types of stimulation will cause the downstream neuron to chill out so that only an upstream shout will trigger downstream activation.

Both these propertieseasier or harder to activate downstream neuronsare essentially how the brain forms connections. The amping up, in neuroscience jargon, is long-term potentiation (LTP), whereas the down-tuning is LTD (long-term depression). These two phenomena were first discovered in the rodent hippocampus more than half a century ago, and ever since have been considered as the biological basis of how the brain learns and remembers, and implicated in neurological problems such as addition (seriously, you cant pass Neuro 101 without learning about LTP and LTD!).

So its perhaps especially salient that one of the first artificial-brain hybrid networks recapitulated this classic result.

To visualize: the three-neuron network began in Switzerland, with an artificial neuron with the badass name of silicon spiking neuron. That neuron is linked to an artificial synapse, a memristor located in the UK, which is then linked to a biological rat neuron cultured in Italy. The rat neuron has a smart microelectrode, controlled by the artificial synapse, to stimulate it. This is the artificial-to-biological pathway.

Meanwhile, the rat neuron in Italy also has electrodes that listen in on its electrical signaling. This signaling is passed back to another artificial synapse in the UK, which is then used to control a second artificial neuron back in Switzerland. This is the biological-to-artificial pathway back. As a testimony in how far weve come in digitizing neural signaling, all of the biological neural responses are digitized and sent over the internet to control its far-out artificial partner.

Heres the crux: to demonstrate a functional neural network, just having the biological neuron passively pass on electrical stimulation isnt enough. It has to show the capacity to learn, that is, to be able to mimic the amping up and down-tuning that are LTP and LTD, respectively.

Youve probably guessed the results: certain stimulation patterns to the first artificial neuron in Switzerland changed how the artificial synapse in the UK operated. This, in turn, changed the stimulation to the biological neuron, so that it either amped up or toned down depending on the input.

Similarly, the response of the biological neuron altered the second artificial synapse, which then controlled the output of the second artificial neuron. Altogether, the biological and artificial components seamlessly linked up, over thousands of miles, into a functional neural circuit.

SoIm still picking my jaw up off the floor.

Its utterly insane seeing a classic neuroscience learning experiment repeated with an integrated network with artificial components. That said, a three-neuron network is far from the thousands of synapses (if not more) needed to truly re-establish a broken neural circuit in the hippocampus, which DARPA has been aiming to do. And LTP/LTD has come under fire recently as the de facto brain mechanism for learning, though so far they remain cemented as neuroscience dogma.

However, this is one of the few studies where you see fields coming together. As Richard Feynman famously said, What I cannot recreate, I cannot understand. Even though neuromorphic chips were built on a high-level rather than molecular-level understanding of how neurons work, the study shows that artificial versions can still synapse with their biological counterparts. Were not just on the right path towards understanding the brain, were recreating it, in hardwareif just a little.

While the study doesnt have immediate use cases, practically it does boost both the neuromorphic computing and neuroprosthetic fields.

We are very excited with this new development, said study author Dr. Themis Prodromakis at the University of Southampton. On one side it sets the basis for a novel scenario that was never encountered during natural evolution, where biological and artificial neurons are linked together and communicate across global networks; laying the foundations for the Internet of Neuro-electronics. On the other hand, it brings new prospects to neuroprosthetic technologies, paving the way towards research into replacing dysfunctional parts of the brain with AI chips.

Image Credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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Scientists Linked Artificial and Biological Neurons in a Networkand Amazingly, It Worked - Singularity Hub

The Terminator sequel trilogies that never were – Film Stories

The future is what we make it, but what about the unmade Terminator sequels that would have followed Salvation, Genisys, and Dark Fate? Mark finds out.

This feature contains spoilers for all of the Terminator films, including Dark Fate.

The original Terminator trilogy comprised three movies released in three different decades. For all the flaws with Jonathan Mostows Terminator 3, a well-made sequel that nevertheless comes up short next to James Camerons films, its probably the best of the post-T2 sequels.

The franchise now numbers six entries, with the addition of three different trilogy-starters, distributed by three different studios, with three different creative leads, all in little more than 10 years. Salvation, Genisys, and Dark Fate were all intended to kick off sequel trilogies, but whether it was down to rights issues or audience apathy, none of their respective follow-ups came to pass.

In the workings of a franchise machine that absolutely will not stop ever, until we are dead, we can be thankful that simply remaking the 1984 original remains an unthinkable option for now. Heck, the series has tied itself in knots just to keep Arnold Schwarzenegger involved beyond the reasonable playing age for a mass-produced cyborg.

But where would these new creative directions have taken the series if they had come to fruition? Heres our look back at the Terminator trilogies that never were

Setup: 15 years after Judgment Day, in the far-off future of 2018, upstart resistance captain John Connor (Christian Bale) encounters an experimental human-Terminator hybrid named Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) who is protecting Johns teenage father Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) from Skynet.

What went wrong? Despite being the worst-reviewed movie in the franchise up to this point, Salvation was a decent-sized hit at the worldwide box office in summer 2009. However, when Terminator rights holders The Halcyon Company went bankrupt later that year, the rights changed hands and Salvations most lasting impression on pop culture was the ubiquitous leaked audio of Christian Bale ranting at cinematographer Shane Hurlbut.

What would have happened next? Unlike the films that followed, Terminator Salvation is about as linear a sequel as you could expect from such a circular narrative. It picks up roughly after Rise Of The Machines left off but feels like more of a reboot than it ought to because of casting changes.

As well as being the only entry in the franchise that doesnt feature Schwarzenegger, (outside of a cameo from a CG double anyway) its unique in its lack of time travel shenanigans. So, what did director McG have in mind for the untitled Terminator 5 and 6?

One of the problems is that in a post-apocalyptic world, everybodys a little bummed out, he told IGN in 2009. Everything went haywire. So, the idea is to play with one of the tried and true rules of the franchise time travel and introduce it in this picture.

In further statements around the same time, McG suggested a fifth instalment would play around with the timeline that was largely respected in Salvation. This time-travel adventure was going to send Bales Connor back to a pre-Skynet 2011, the same year as the sequel was intended to be released. Even though Salvation acknowledges that Judgment Day took place in 2003, the idea was to revisit the contemporary chase-movie style of previous instalments.

This neednt have broken the franchise, but the minds behind Terminator 5 also intended to show Skynet figuring out how to send non-infiltrator Terminators back through time, meaning that the war machinery seen in countless flashforwards would invade our present. In case you dont see what a bad idea that would be, ask yourself why they wouldnt have just sent a Hunter-Killer back to get Sarah Connor in 1984, if that ever became possible?

Speaking of Sarah, McG intended to retcon her death, which occurred off-screen before Rise Of The Machines, and have Linda Hamilton return for the fifth film. It also would have featured Robert Patrick as a 60-year-old scientist who is researching cell replication, as if a shapeshifter like the T-1000 would need design inspiration to begin with.

As it stood, McG had two potential projects lined up between completing Salvation and Terminator 5 one was a James Cameron-produced remake of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and the other was a screen version of the rock musical Spring Awakening. Neither of those films materialised, but due to those pesky rights issues, (which weve covered more extensively elsewhere)neither did his take on Terminator 5.

After it became apparent that new rights holders Annapurna Pictures would be pursuing a new take, with Schwarzenegger once again front and centre, Dark Horse Comics released a 12-issue sequel series titled Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle. Written by J. Michael Straczynski, the story picks up threads involving Connor, Wright, and Helena Bonham Carters Dr Serena Kogan, and ultimately ties all loose ends back into the circular narrative of the rest of the series.

Setup: Time is in flux during the dying days of the war against the machines, as an alternate-universe version of Skynet (Matt Smith) sends a Terminator back in time to kill Sarah Connor as a child. Tumbling into an alternate 1984, Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) discovers that Sarah (Emilia Clarke) was raised by a reprogrammed T-800, (Schwarzenegger) while back in his own time, John Connor (Jason Clarke) has also been assimilated.

What went wrong? All editorialising about the films quality aside, Genisys got an even colder reception from critics and audiences than its predecessor. While Alan Taylors film took a leaf out of JJ Abrams Star Trek in a bid to kickstart a rebooted trilogy, the back-to-back sequels that had been dated for 19th May 2017 and 29th June 2018 were quietly removed from Paramounts slate after the film underperformed at the international box office.

What would have happened next? For us, this is Terminator 1, this is not Terminator 5, said Annapurna executive David Ellison, describing the filmmakers approach to the intended trilogy. Despite bringing Schwarzenegger back into the fold, Genisys was very much hyped as the start of a new series based on Camerons original two films. If nothing else, its a curious move to acknowledge that the film is overwriting the two cast-iron classics that kicked off the franchise during the film it didnt prove to be a popular choice.

Writers Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier were charged with coming up with the new trilogy and while doing press rounds for Genisys, they were emphatic in saying that they had a three-film arc for this new alternate timeline. Indeed, they claimed that they knew the last line of the third movie but were understandably unwilling to reveal what it was at that point.

As mentioned, Genisys sets up some of the questions that would percolate throughout the next two films, like where the alternate version of Skynet had come from (or rather, why he didnt bring a fez and a mop to tidy up this timey-wimey nonsense). Smiths role in the finished film amounted to an extended cameo, but the mid-credits scene was devoted to showing that Skynets new Genisys form had survived in 2017, and the sequels were supposed to explain where it had come from.

Notably, the film sees our heroes trying to avert yet another Judgment Day in 2017, which is when the first sequel was supposed to turn up. Unlike the causal loop established across previous instalments, the many-worlds version allows for further alterations to the mythos, so Kalogridis and Lussier would pretty much have had free rein on the sequels.

Its not too much of a stretch to imagine that Part 2 would have seen Judgment Day come to pass again, with the alternate-universe Skynet avoiding the mistakes of previous versions, so that Part 3 could deal with the immediate aftermath, perhaps having other characters hop between timelines too. Although the sequels were dated and a complementary TV spin-off series was announced, the films box office put paid to any plans to answer the films dangling plot threads.

And so, what little else we know about the planned Genisys sequels has largely come from the actors involved. For instance, we know that Dayo Okeniyis Cyberdyne whiz Daniel Dyson was set to play a larger part and that JK Simmons filmed pick-up scenes in Genisys to make it clearer that his character survived, ahead of a more important role in the sequels. But the biggest clue weve had so far comes from Jason Clarke, who lamented that he didnt get to explore the T-5000 version of John Connor any further.

He told Collider in 2018: What I remember was that second one was going to be about Johns journey after he was taken by Skynetlike going down to what he became; half-machine, half-man. Thats where the second one was going to start, and thats about all I knew. Its such a bummer we didnt get to do that.

By contrast, his namesake and screen mother Emilia Clarke was much more contentto be free of the Terminator franchise machine, claiming in a 2018 interview that she was relieved that the film didnt do well. Elsewhere, Ellison brought James Cameron back on board as a producer to have another run at the franchise that made his name

Setup: Utilising the same many-worlds approach to liberally ignore everything since T2, Dark Fate opens with a shattering postscript to Camerons last film and then picks up 22 years later, as Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) encounters a new saviour of humanity, Dani Ramos, (Natalia Reyes) and her cyborg-hybrid protector, Grace, (Mackenzie Davis) on the run from a Terminator sent by a different, non-Skynet AI called Legion.

What went wrong? Pivoting from Trek to Star Wars in its legacyquel tack, the film drew much warmer reviews all around, but had the lowest box-office opening of any Terminator film since the first one in 1984. Many box office prognosticators blamed franchise fatigue with the third would-be trilogy-starter on the bounce, but all told, Paramount and Skydance Media declared a loss of $130 million on the film.

What would have happened next? As youd expect from Cameron, he was a hands-on producer, proving instrumental in co-writing the story that Deadpool director Tim Miller went on to make. Indeed, before Dark Fate, the producer reportedly sat down, just as he has with his as-yet-unreleased Avatar sequels, to hammer out a three-film arc with writers Charles H. Eglee, Josh Friedman, David Goyer, and Justin Rhodes.

Camerons main reason for returning to the Terminator franchise was to address the ever more topical relationship between humans and artificial intelligence. But by his own admission, Dark Fate doesnt get around to that, instead tacitly acknowledging the stray timelines of Salvation and Genisys by suggesting that some version of this conflict has happened before and will happen again, until something fundamentally changes in that relationship.

He further explained: We know where our storyline is going in broad strokes. The innate conflict that the future Terminator films will have to resolve, will be the ultimate and inescapable showdown between humanity and A.I.

The first sequel was pencilled in for early 2022 by producers estimates, but that was before the film turned out to be a financial write-off. By the end of Dark Fate, Sarah and Dani drive off towards an uncertain future, (again) but behind the scenes at least, it seems as if Cameron and his co-writers had made preparations to ensure that the film worked as a standalone story, but also that they didnt paint themselves into any corners If the series continued.

The only area in which things seemed more ambivalent about the sequels was Schwarzeneggers return in its second half, the film introduces a T-800 model that feels like the logical extension of Uncle Bob from T2 and goes to some lengths to start that this time, he wont be back. And yet when asked, Cameron cheerfully said that he could find some way to bring Arnie back, they gladly would.

However, Dark Fate belatedly brings the franchise back to the realisation that Sarah Connor, not the Terminator, was the protagonist of the original film, so well leave the last word to Hamilton. In January 2020, she stated that shes more or less finished with the franchise after the latest films underperformance.

She told The Hollywood Reporter I would really appreciate maybe a smaller version where so many millions are not at stake. Todays audience is just so unpredictable. I cant tell you how many laymen just go, Well, people dont go to the movies anymore. Thats not Hollywood analysis; that just comes out of almost everybodys mouth.

It should definitely not be such a high-risk financial venture, but I would be quite happy to never return. So, no, I am not hopeful because I would really love to be done.

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The Terminator sequel trilogies that never were - Film Stories

Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 – Netflix Shares New Stills from Its CG Anime – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Netflix has released a new series of stills for its upcoming contribution to the Ghost in the Shell franchise -- the CG anime series Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045.

The images, shared to Netflix's official NX Twitter account, highlight the show's characters, though primarily main protagonist Motoko Kusanagi and her second-in-command, Batou. Netflix's caption reads, "Hey cyberpunks, quit hacking gibsons and check these new screens of Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045."

RELATED:Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045: Netflix Releases Trailer for CG Anime Series

Based on the popular manga created by Masamune Shirow and set to arrive next month, Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 takes place after AI developments following an economic disaster called the Synchronized Global Default in the year 2045 plunged the world into "Sustainable War." The series fallouts Motoko and Batou, whose mercenary work takes a sharp turn with the arrival of "post humans."

Per the show's full synopsis,

When sustainable war spawns a "post-human" threat, Major Kusanagi and her Section 9 team are called back into action.

In the year 2045, after an economic disaster known as the Synchronized Global Default, rapid developments in AI propelled the world to enter a state of Sustainable War. However, the public is not aware of the threat that AI has towards the human race.

Full-body cyborg Major Motoko Kusanagi and her second-in-command Batou are former members of Public Security Section 9, who are now hired mercenaries traveling hot devastated American west coast. This land is full of opportunity for the major and her team, they utilize their enhanced cyberbrains and combat skills from their time working in Section 9. However, things get complicated with the emergence of post humans, who have extreme intelligence and physical powers. The members of Section 9 comeback together again in order to face this new threat.

Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 is directed by Kenji Kamiyama and Shinji Aramaki. The series arrives on Netflix in April.

KEEP READING:Ghost in the Shell: The Best Watch Order for the Anime Movies and Series

What's Shonen Jump's Future After One Piece & Other Popular Series End?

Noah Dominguez is a jr. news editor at Comic Book Resources who joined the site as a writer in the summer of 2018. He has also written for such sites as WhatCulture and Gaming Access Weekly (formerly Gamer Assault Weekly) and holds a degree in mass communication. A lifelong fan of all Marvel and DC has to offer, be it comic books, movies, TV shows, or video games, as well as countless other series, franchises and artists, Noah is something with a lot to say when it comes to the world of pop culture. He firmly believes that The Amazing Spider-Man movies are criminally underrated, Ewan McGregor is the definitive Obi-Wan Kenobi, Too Tough to Die is unquestionably the best Ramones album and that comics should be for everyone. If you want to hear Noah ramble about these and other topics, you can follow him on Twitter at @akaFirebrand.

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Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 - Netflix Shares New Stills from Its CG Anime - CBR - Comic Book Resources

The Pac-12 in Polaroids – Rule Of Tree

This article was written by guest writer Sam Weyen. You can follow him and the current tree @DaStanfordTree

Close your eyes and think deeply of 1947. What do you picture? Do you see Jackie Robinson making his debut in a Brooklyn Dodgers jersey? Do you feel the explosiveness as the US and the USSR make Cold War eye contact for the first time?

No. No you do NOT. You picture Edward H. Land presenting the first Instant Print Polaroid camera in New York City to the Optical Society of America.

Yes, the Polaroid camera was birthed from Edwards stout hips over 70 years ago, and ever since its been a staple for kombucha binge drinking hipsters, Outkast enthusiasts, and four of the six weddings my Aunt Kaki has had this decade.

The advent of so-called digital cameras may have damaged the social salience of the Polaroid camera, but I for onea card carrying Blockbuster member and a shareholder for Kodakam still a believer.

So for this years Pac-12 Tournament, I set out to see if I could prove to those sellout DiPhos (Digital Photographers) that there is only one way to truly capture basketball in motion. Rule of Tree credentialed me as a photographer, I grabbed my trusty Polaroid OneStep 2 Viewfinder I-Type Camera, and I set out to do the Lords work.

Flashing my badge to the photography czar, I was met with a gruff and condescending chuckle. Prejudice knows no bounds.

I was led court side to a bivouac of DiPhos. Each photographer was occupying a 1 by 3 foot rectangle outlined in white tape. More cyborg than human, I was astonished to see each sitting in a Crazy Creek chair packed to the brim with technological profligacies: scopes, lenses, extensions, boom mics, bump stocks, silencersit was disgusting. Were they even human?

Origami-ing my flesh into my designated rectangle, I thumbed through my ammunition: 8 Instant Photos for the days 4 games. I mean seriously who knew polaroid film would be so expensive? The buzzer sounded and I began to paint my canvas.

Excuse me, is THE LOUVRE available for comment? My first polaroid of the day would make Banksy leak from his eyeholes:

As Im sure youve read about the Tournament That Never Happened TM, Utahs Alfonso Plummer shattered records (Klay Thompsons) and jaws (Mine) as he nailed 11 of 16 three pointers. It took about 35 minutes for Alfonso to (1) come close enough for a camera without zooming capabilities and (2) not move his body for the ~3 seconds required to capture him chemically.

Okay okay so this one didnt turn out so great. I mean I couldnt use my flash for obvious reasons (though isnt Vegas in some respects the flashing capital of the world!?) and besides Washington had the audacity to wear black

But maybe just maybe. Its symbolic? Washington didnt really show up to this game, and thats reflected in my polaroid a la Marty McFlys family in Back to the Future.

Ever on the hot streak, I have TWO photos to share from the Stanford game. The first shows Daejon Davis after a layup, his body appearing ghostlike and holy in the film to signify his Divine Mandate. I dont want to brag, but Id also like to point out I got the ball on the backboard. Id like to see a DiPho do that.

The next is the whole gang in what would turn out to be their last huddle of the season. Theres a weight to this picture seen on the faces of the players and built into their postures. Also I did accidentally spill some Dr. Pepper on this guy so it is also literally heavier than the others.

Meh. Do you really need a photo from this one? Instead, heres a polaroid of me and fellow Rule of Tree contributor Grant Avalon:

And then after that, the world sort of imploded. Rudy Gobert single handedly shut down the NBA. The NCAA slowly rolled back the scope of the Big Dance and its affiliate conference tournaments until they were no more. Even golf was cancelled.

As the event was called off and I shuffled out of the arena, polaroid companion in hand, I began to wonder was my experiment a success? Did I prove that Polaroids belong in the world of sports? Would my ligaments ever recover from being crammed into a little white photography box?

Probably not. But I knew in my heart that Edward H. Land would be proud all the same.

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The Pac-12 in Polaroids - Rule Of Tree

Who Wants To Help Steve Cohen Build A Trading Cyborg? – Dealbreaker

Ross Garon is living the dream, retiring at the age of 48 after what has been by this account a very successful 10-year-run at the helm of Cubist Systematic Strategies, Point72 Asset Managements quantitative arm. Of course, one mans desire for rest and relaxation and not getting yelled at all the time is not the same thing as Steve Cohen abandoning the nerd game in which hes invested so much time and energy in recent years. Far from it! For Cohen is not only dedicated to keeping Cubist goingand why wouldnt he be, given how successful it apparently isbut in building upon it, in a Robocop kind of way.

In an email to employees, Mr. Cohen said he was still committed to his quant-trading operation, as well as the idea of combining quant and traditional investing, something he calls person + machine.

I expect us to continue to expand the use of systematic strategies across the firm, he wrote.

Point72s Head Quant Is Leaving the Firm [WSJ]

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Who Wants To Help Steve Cohen Build A Trading Cyborg? - Dealbreaker

Alita’s got nothing on this mind-controlled robotic arm that links to your nerves – SYFY WIRE

Alita may be able to take on robots twice her sizebecause she's a cyberneticpowerhouse, but while sentient robots aren't a thing (yet), cyborg limbs you can control with your brain now are.

Ingenious scientists at the University of Michigan have developed a prosthetic arm that can be controlled with just your brain. The non-invasive process requires almost negligible muscle grafts and machine-learning algorithms from a brain-computer interface (BCI). This isnt the first attempt at merging robotics with mind control, since DARPA (which also funded this study) is developing weapons with this kind of technology, but it is the first prosthetic limb that successfully does this. There was one amputee who described it as feeling like he had his arm back.

This is the biggest advance in motor control for people with amputations in many years, said Paul Cederna, University of Michigan professor of plastic surgery and biomedical engineering, who recently published a study in Science Translational Medicine. We have developed a technique to provide individual finger control of prosthetic devices using the nerves in a patients residual limb. With it, we have been able to provide some of the most advanced prosthetic control that the world has seen.

Mobius (if that name is giving you dj vu, think Mobius Final Fantasy) Bionics' LUKE arm takes advantage of an often-neglected group of nerves to give amputees the use of a limb that is supposed to feel eerily real. Peripheral nerves extend outside the brain and spinal cord. They have been ignored in the past because they tend to transmit weak signals, which needed invasive probes to pick them up. These nerves are already fragile, and implanting probes created scar tissue that muffled the signals even more.

Enter the regenerative peripheral nerve interface. Cedernas team tapped the potential of peripheral nerves by figuring out how to untangle bundles of them into smaller fibers they could actually work with. These nerve fibers could then be manipulated to give the patient more precise control than any prosthetic ever has.

This was achieved by a muscle graft wrapped around nerve endings in patients arms, and the procedure amplified nerve signals. Electrodes implanted in the arms of two patients were then able to record these otherwise faint signals and transmit them to the prosthetic hand.

The regenerative peripheral nerve interface (RPNI) serves as a biologically stable bioamplifier of efferent motor action potentials with long-term stability in upper limb amputees,"Cederna said in the study.

Such tech differs form Neuralink in that Musks company is looking to create AI that specifically targets neurological diseases and could eventually give the brain a proverbial hand with artificial intelligence. Both Neuralink and the LUKE arm rely on brain-computer interfaces that connect the brain to a computer so communication can happen. The difference is that Neuralink would work to reverse illnesses like Alzheimers and Parkinsons by targeting neurons in the parts of the brain that are degenerating rather than putting the focus on peripheral nerves that can control a limb.

The Michigan team found that voltage recorded from nerves ended up being not just higher than previous results, but the highest recorded so far. They were able to pick up the first millivolt signals ever. Signals coming from individual finger movements could be accessed, and another plus was that no learning was required from the patient, since the BCI algorithms were already there in the prosthetic arm. Patients have been able to play a modified version of rock, paper, scissors and pick up objects just by thinking of the action. The tech also lasts without degrading and creating scar tissue.

Cederna and his team are determined to keep upgrading the LUKE arm and doing more investigation into neuroprosthetics. If this sounds sci-fi now, just wait.

(via University of Michigan/Science Translational Magazine)

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Alita's got nothing on this mind-controlled robotic arm that links to your nerves - SYFY WIRE