Friday, December 31, 2010

Movie Reviews: SUPER INDAY 2010/AGIMAT & ENTENG

It looks like RPG Metanoia raised the bar for my appreciation of Filipino films. There are these 2 other 2010 Metro Manila Film Festival entries that I was keen on seeing and reviewing, but since then it had been an effort just to drag myself to go watch them. Well, I have, and here are my reviews. I won't say whether you should go see them or not, I'll just tell you what I liked and didn't like about them, and perhaps you can make your own decisions from there.


SUPER INDAY AND THE GOLDEN BIBE


Premise:

A remake of the 1988 movie of the same name which starred Maricel Soriano and Aiza Seguerra in the title roles. In this version, the Golden Bibe ("Golden Duck") is now a gay fallen angel (John Lapus) who must earn his way back to Heaven by turning country girl Inday (Marian Rivera) into a superheroine. Meanwhile, Inday has her own personal drama regrding her long-lost parents and journeys to the city in search of them.


What I Liked:

Marian Rivera is a damn good actress. She can play just about any role they give her, and here we see her shifting effortlessly from serious to comedic in literally seconds. I guess it comes with being isa pong psychology.

Buboy Villar appears to be Marian's official sidekick, and there's a reason for that. They have great onscreen chemistry.

Jake Cuenca is a capable enough romantic lead and action hero. His character Amazing-J is like a combination of Bruce Wayne and Blade (except he can fly), and his suit reminds me a little of Kamen Rider.

If you've seen the original Super Inday with Maricel Soriano, she wore one of the ugliest pinoy superhero costumes ever (what was up with the hideous wig?). When Maricel's niece Meryll Soriano took over the role for the 2006-07 ABS-CBN TV series Super Inggo, they later gave her a costume that looked even worse. Finally, after years of super-fashion disasters, the costume in the 2010 version is a vast improvement. She kinda looks like a pink She-Ra.


What I Didn't Like:


The only cheese I like is the edible kind. I don't like too much of it in my movies.

John Lapus and Pokwang. I don't find them funny. At all. Everybody else seem to, though, so maybe there's something wrong with me.

The film's marketing made it a point to keep the "mystery" villain's identity a secret-- despite the fact that it's bloody obvious who it is. Just the same, I won't spoil it for the one clueless person out there who hasn't figured it out.

The bad guys in this version are an old witch, a bunch of zombies and a gang of evil mascots (actually, they're supposed to be man-sized living toys, one of which looks like a cardboard version of one of those mechanized creatures from Hellboy II). Yawn. Compare this to the original film, which had a scorpion woman, a scrawny shape-shifting lizard dude, alien monsters and a giant spider. Now granted, that movie's special effects were too flimsy to effectively realize them, but the idea at least sounds imaginative on paper. The remake does have a giant creature show up at the end, but it's too little too late.

The theme song f@$#ing grates. When it played at the end, it made me feel embarassed to be there. I literally walked out of the theater with my head hanging low in shame.




Premise:


A 2-in-1 sequel, this would be the 5th film in the Enteng Kabisote franchise (or if you like, the 7th film in the Okey Ka, Fairy Ko franchise), as well as the follow-up to the 2002 film Ang Agimat: Anting-anting ni Lolo. Mystical warrior Agimat (Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr. ) and mortal everyman hero Enteng (Vic Sotto) cross over into each other's worlds to battle a common evil. The alliance is an uneasy one, as Enteng gets jealous when he thinks Agimat is flirting with his fairy wife Faye (Gwen Zamora), while the solitary Agimat is envious of Enteng's family. The villains then try to take advantage of this to turn the two heroes against each other.


What I Liked:


If you've seen any of the previous Enteng Kabisote movies, you pretty much know what to expect. That may be tedium to some, but its simply friendly familiarity to its fans. The EK films are made for a particular audience that will love them no matter what, so they're almost "critic-proof." These viewers aren't there for high-art; they're just there to hang out with their old onscreen buds and be entertained.

There's a genuine sense of family among the regular EK cast that comes through in their performance. Also, Vic Sotto and his fellow comedians are just naturally funny. The jokes in the film aren't necessarily funny by themselves, but its Sotto and company's natural delivery that makes them so. They can make any line, no matter how corny, sound hilarious.

I wouldn't say that I'm a fan of Bong Revilla exactly, but he seems to be the only one out there in the local movie industry at the moment championing serious Filipino films in the fantasy-adventure genre. The production values keep improving with each of his movies, and I'm looking forward to what he comes up with next (Panday 2 is reportedly in the works).

Special effects in Filipino films are starting to get better. Sure, they may not be quite as spectacular as those in Hollywood productions, but they now look much more seamless and pleasing to the eye, and that's all I could ask for. I would say SAASEK has the best special effects of all the previous EK films.

Usually, I hate product placement, but the EK movies get away with it by making it look like a joke.

Amy Perez just may be the best Ina Magenta since Charito Solis.

Sam Pinto is hot. Gwen Zamora is cute.


What I Didn't Like:


While I did say this film is almost critic-proof, I'll whine a bit about it anyway.

There are no real surprises in the film. It just follows a set, predictable pattern. The bad guys don't have much of a master plan other than "Let's resurrect all our minions, then kill our enemies," and of course they never really make good on the latter part. Someone dies, then immediately gets brought back to life, which makes the death pointless. The conflict between the 2 leads lasts just about as long as it does in the trailer before someone breaks them up and irons-out the misunderstanding. Then the good guys fight the bad guys, they win and have a picture-taking session.

Throughout the film, we see a cool CGI (I think) exterior shot of the villains' lair; this massive, ominous, evil-looking temple set amidst a bleak, atmospheric backdrop. When the heroes raid them in the climax, it's suddenly this cheap-looking set on a hill in broad daylight.

The fights consist mainly of the combatants going at it until the good guys score a lucky shot and/or the bad guys just stop putting up a fight. The action isn't that bad, I just wish they were a little more, I don't know-- clever? When the main villains get killed, it just happens. No drama, just "Zap! You're dead!" I guess it doesn't really matter, considering one of those villains came back to life twice already. They'll probably be back in the inevitable sequel. The end fight is with a monster goon who just shows up out of nowhere. He puts up more of a fight, until he practically lets the heroes stab him to death in the end.

Speaking of sequels, I hate it when a movie announces "watch out for part 2" at the end. Lucky for them the film's a hit, but what if it tanked? Then they'd just look stupid. Sotto also pulled the same thing on Fantastic Man and Ang Darling Kong Aswang. Those sequels probably won't be coming out anytime soon.

Sam Pinto's character is creepy. She plays an amazon with a stalker-like fixation on Agimat. The romantic angle isn't really developed well; she's the love interest simply because the film says she is. Sam seems to have some potential as an actress, but her diction gets in the way.

Gwen Zamora feels like a generic leading lady. She doesn't seem to have the same presence as the previous Fayes. It doesn't help that in her intro scene, they just had her casually walk in. As for her acting, she seems to try a bit too hard, but still comes off bland.

Speaking of the many faces of Faye, in the scene where they enumerate the previous actresses who played the character, they missed one: Dawn Zulueta, who took over the role when the Okey Ka, Fairy Ko sitcom transferred to GMA 7 in the mid-1990's.

The theme song is basically the same damn one they've been using in all the EK films, but with slightly different lyrics and arrangement each time. Actually, the instrumentals aren't bad (the guitar version kinda rocks), but I don't think I can take any more of that chorus with the guy singing "EEEEEEEENTEEEENG KABISOOOOOOTEEEEEEEEHHH!!!!"

Then there are the constant TV ads where they boast that they're breaking box-office records. I don't f@$#ing care. So you're a hit, fine, I'm happy for you, I'ma let you finish, but RPG Metanoia is the best MMFF movie of all time, OF ALL TIME! (yeesh, that was so 2009.)

Ah, well, at least the ads don't have some annoying guy going "NUMBER ONE! NUMBER ONE! NUMBER ONE!" again.

It's also funny that those ads are proudly announcing that the Cinema Evaluation Board graded them a "B." You know, everywhere else in the world, being called a B-Grade movie isn't exactly a compliment...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

RPG METANOIA: Rated A for ASTIG


It announced itself as "The film that will put Philippine animation in the world map!"

My initial reaction? "Yeah, right."

There have been a few attempts in the past to produce full-length Philippine-made animated films, and the results would usually fall short in certain areas. And now comes RPG Metanoia, which aims for even bigger ambitions as the Philippines' first 3D-animated film.

As the opening scene unfolded, I was unimpressed. The animation was kinda choppy, and the quality of the graphics looked too much like a video game's. As it turned out, it was supposed to look that way.

The film has 2 main settings: the online game world of the title (thus simulating the feel of computer game graphics), and the "real" world. As soon as the movie shifted to "reality," the animation went a lot smoother. But what struck me was how, well, real the film's portrayal of the real world looked. The colors were not too different from the world outside my doorstep, and the setting was unmistakably Filipino. As for the game world, once my initial skepticism subsided, I came to appreciate the imagination and attention to detail that came in creating it.

It's often been said that Filipino artists possess the talent to create a world-class animated film, it's just that we lack the support to do it. Personally, I think a big part of the problem is finding the right material. Usually, we end up with pale imitations of the western animation formula. Think of Adarna: The Mythical Bird from 1997, which was pretty much a badly-made Disney-wannabe, and 2008's Urduja, which felt too much like a pinoy Pocahontas. Then there was Dayo: Sa Mundo ng Elementalia, a noble effort, but basically a "kiddified" interpretation of Philippine mythology. And that's another thing, locally-produced animation tend to be geared too much to children. And when I say too much, I mean that it's really what grownups think is entertaining to kids rather than what might actually appeal to them. Instead they'd be too cute, too wholesome, too silly, too preachy, too bland-- basically, too much of the wrong things.

Now, make no mistake, RPG is definitely a movie for kids, but it doesn't condescend to its audience. It's edgy and quirky, with a premise that is perhaps relatable to today's generation. The story deals with Nico, a young boy who immerses himself in the online role-playing game Metanoia to escape from mundane reality. Eventually, he realizes that there is more to life than just playing computer games and he learns to enjoy his childhood in the real world with his friends and family.

The film tells the story in such an engaging way that if this was all there is to the plot, it would still be a pretty good movie. But it soon becomes apparent that Metanoia is more than just a game, and an evil force lurks within it that threatens to take over the real world. What surprised me was that they introduced a hard science-fiction element into the story that one might think would be too heavy (and too dark) for a kids' movie, but they managed to make it work. And even when the story shifts to action-adventure "let's save the world" mode, the theme of not getting too lost in a fantasy world remains in play.

While the main draw of the film is its graphics, it's the storytelling that really grabbed me. There's good character development, the dialogue is natural, the humor is actually funny and not forced, and the plotting is very tight. I love films where every single element, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is relevant to the story, and that's certainly the case here. Also, at a running time of 1 hour and 45 minutes, it's actually pretty short, but they somehow packed so much story into such a short amount of time that it didn't feel that way at all. I could've been watching an exciting 3-hour epic for all I knew!

And the music-- GODDAMN, the music! Rarely (hardly ever) have I watched a Filipino movie (let alone an animated one) with such a kick-@$$ soundtrack. Really, to me a great superhero/action-adventure soundtrack should make you feel like leaping out the window (kids, don't try this at home) and charging into battle, and they just nailed it right here. I also give it points for using the APO Hiking Society song Bawa't Bata, the ORIGINAL version, instead of cookng up some lame-@$$ R&B version like most local movies tend to do these days.

Appropriately enough, RPG Metanoia has won Best Theme Song and Best Sound Recording in the 2010 Metro Manila Film Festival. It was also given the Gender Sensitive Award (hmm, interesting...) and the 3rd Best Picture award. Personally, I think it's THE best film in this year's MMFF, and I haven't even seen the other entries yet! I don't usually judge movies before I even see them, but honestly, what are the chances the other films aren't the same old $#!+ they've been dishing out each year?

(I'd also like to commend RPG for not succumbing to that annoying bane of most recent MMFF entries: blatant product placement. Even the last animated filmfest entry, Dayo, suffered from this. There are actually a few places in RPG where they could have easily snuck in product placement, but thankfully, they didn't give in to the temptation.)

It remains to be seen if RPG Metanoia will indeed make an impact on the world stage. As a Filipino-made film, however, it is truly unique, and it imparts good moral values, but not at the expense of its entertainment values. It has deservedly been given an "A" rating by the Cinema Evaluation Board. As far as I'm concerned, it may as well be an "A" for "Astig."

RPG Metanoia is produced by Ambient Media, Thaumatrope Animation, and Star Cinema. I am in no way affiliated with them. I just like what I like, okay?


Friday, December 24, 2010

How ZUMA Saved Christmas


More of a villain than a hero, Zuma is nonetheless one of Philippine comics' most iconic characters. Created by writer Jim M. Fernandez (who, as an illustrator, co-created Captain Barbell with Mars Ravelo), the serpentine demigod first rose from his tomb in the serial Aztec, but really came to prominence in the classic komiks novel Anak ni Zuma, serialized in Aliwan Komiks and published by Graphic Arts Service, Inc. (GASI). Illustrated by Ben S. Maniclang, it ran weekly from 1976 to 1984, making it one of the longest-running series in komiks history. It also introduced other memorable characters such as Zuma's children: his kind-hearted daughter Galema, and his dinosaur-headed son Dino.
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Art by Ben Maniclang

So great was Zuma's fame that he was practically a household name. He would come to star in a succession of spin-offs, some of which even ran concurrently with his main series. Among these was Dugong Aztec ("Aztec Blood") by Fernandez and artist Elmer Esquivas (who delineated a much more sinister-looking portrayal of the character), which appeared from 1978 to 79 in the pages of Rex Komiks, published by Rex Publications, Inc. Another series was the prequel Angkan ni Zuma, written by Fernandez and drawn by Mar T. Santana for Pinoy Klasiks from 1978 to 83.

Art by Elmer Esquivas
Image from KOMIKERO DOT COM
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With Zuma reaching the peak of his popularity, a movie adaptation would not be far behind. Imposing actor Max Laurel would portray the Aztec anti-hero in 2 films, Zuma (1985) and its sequel Anak ni Zuma (1987). Here's a clip from the latter film, dubbed in English (and sounding kind of like an old kung-fu movie).


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By the way, it appears ABS-CBN will be producing a new television series, Galema, Ang Anak ni Zuma ("Galema, The Daughter of Zuma"). I'm looking at its Wikipedia page, and I don't know how accurate the information on it is, but apparently, this version of Zuma is going to have a last name ("Zuma Asuncion?" Seriously?) That sounds weird as hell to me, but we'll see how it goes.
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Anyway, Zuma's popularity had somewhat waned by the 1990's, but he had one last run when he was given his own magazine in 1993. Published by GASI, Zuma And Other Amazing Stories (also known as Zuma And Other Horror Stories or simply Zuma Komiks) was a horror anthology book whose main feature was Zuma The Series. Written by various writers, with art by Clem V. Rivera and, later, Vic Catan Jr., the character was revived with a new twist. Zuma now had the ability to heal the sick, which he used to make up for all the evil he had caused in the past. That doesn't necessarily make him a good guy, though. There's some moral ambiguity in that he has amassed himself a fanatical cult of worshippers, and he was still required by his religion to make virgin sacrifices to the Aztec serpent god Kukulkan.
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Art by Vicatan
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Although the character of Zuma may have been watered-down a bit, the new stories did cast him in the interesting role of the outsider who commented on and (violently) reacted to the foibles of "civilized" human behavior. In this yuletide tale from Zuma Komiks #112 (December 29, 1995) by writer Arman T. Francisco and artist Vicatan, Zuma makes observations on the gaudiness of Christmas celebrations, and gives a blind beggar boy the gift of sight... a gift that not everyone appreciates.





[Special thanks to Reno Maniquis and Komiklopedia for the additional info.]

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

BATHALA: APOKALYPSIS Now and Then

For a superhero, staving off the end of the world is pretty much business as usual. But what if the hero has to deal with THE End of the World?


Bathala: Apokalypsis is a 7-part mini-series that asks the question, "What if Superman had to deal with the Apocalypse?" Published under the Alamat Comics imprint, it is written by David Hontiveros and illustrated by Ace Enriquez, based on an idea from Gerry Alanguilan.

The project was actually conceived way back in 1997, but it wasn't until recently that it finally materialized. The story itself is set in 1999, back when fears regarding the coming millenium and the supposed end of the world were prevalent. Despite the time frame, the story is perhaps no less relevant today, what with the current hysteria over the alleged Mayan doomsday prediction supposed to take place exactly 2 years from this very day (I don't know about the end of the world, but it looks more like history repeating itself to me).


2 issues of Bathala: Apokalypsis have been released thus far,
which you can also view online at David Hontiveros' official site.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

ANG PANDAY - Long Live Da King

On the 6th death anniversary of the King of Philippine Movies, the late great Fernando Poe, Jr., here's a little tribute to one of his most famous roles...

Image from Video 48


Created by the self-proclaimed "komiks king," the controversial Carlo J. Caparas, and the Colossal Artist Steve Gan, Ang Panday ("The Blacksmith") tells the story of Flavio, the heroic blacksmith who forges a dagger from a crashed meteor. The dagger can transform into a magic sword, which he uses to fight the forces of darkness, led by the diabolical Lizardo.

The legendary series began in the pages of Pilipino Komiks in 1979. You can read the first 2 chapters of Ang Panday here and its 14th chapter here.

The video below is an overview of the series, including a dramatization of Panday's origin featuring the original comics' artwork. The first part of the video sort of gushes on co-creator Caparas, so CJC-haters may want to skip to the 2:24 mark.




Ang Panday was first adapted to the screen in 1980. The original film topbilled Fernando Poe, Jr., who also directed it under the name Ronwaldo Reyes. He would go on to helm and star in a total of 4 Panday films, each one a blockbuster in the annual Metro Manila Film Festival held every December. The other entries in the series are Pagbabalik ng Panday ("Return of the Blacksmith," 1981), Ang Panday... Ikatlong Yugto ("The Blacksmith... Third Chapter," 1982) and Ang Panday IV Ika-apat na Aklat ("The Blacksmith IV The Fourth Book," 1984).

Image from Simon Santos' FPJ site


Many of FPJ's classic films are currently available on DVD, including his earlier black-and-white pictures, but oddly enough, his Panday quadrology, to many his most popular series of films, remains unreleased (not legally, anyway, if you know what I mean), which is a shame. Sure, they're still shown on television every once in a while, but that just won't be enough for fans, I think.

Right now, the only other Panday movies out there on video are the 2009 remake starring Bong Revilla (which is okay), Joey De Leon's 1993 spoof Pandoy, Ang Alalay ng Panday ("Pandoy, The Blacksmith's Apprentice") and the TERRIBLE CJC-directed Jinggoy Estrada-starrer Hiwaga ng Panday ("Mystery of the Blacksmith," which is so bad, the Joey De Leon spoof is actually the better film).

Ah, well. Thank God for You Tube. Enjoy Flavio's greatest hits...





Monday, December 13, 2010

BIOTROG and The Missing Star

We're not quite done with Biotrog just yet. In the spirit of the holiday, here's a short seasonal story from Kick Fighter Komiks #101 (Janaury 2, 1995). A bit too late for the yuletide when it was first published, but about a couple of weeks early this time around.





"Hang a shining shuriken upon the highest bough..."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

BIOTROG: Crossovers and Covers


ACROSS THE KICK FIGHTER UNIVERSE

At the time of its publication, Kick Fighter Komiks was one of the few Filipino comic books back then to have its characters explicitly inhabit a shared universe. The first major crossover between its heroes was in its "Winter Special Edition" (must've been an effect of climate change) issue #48 (December 30, 1993).

(Art by Lando Inolino)
Top row (left to right): Blade, Kickero, Balzaur, Voltar (guy on screen), Bronco, Kahddim, Hugo
Headband guy in bottom right: Hiro

In his own series, Biotrog would occasionally team up with his fellow Kick Fighter stars, such as the wrestler Hugo, with whom he debates the virtues of brains against brawn.


He later joined forces with Kahddim of Kulto to fight off his own demonic doppelganger.


Biotrog also made guest appearances in his co-stars' series. He and Angel went to the beach with Bronco in a 2-part Mysteryo story.


He then teamed-up (or rather, fought with) Kickero the Kick Fighter in a multi-part storyline where they are pitted against each other by their respective arch-foes.


When KF was revamped (retitled as Kick Fighter II) with its 118th issue (May 1, 1995), its characters were reshuffled and paired off into new serials. Biotrog would co-star with secret agent Jolas Zuares in a new series called Blades and Bullets.

After a brief hiatus, the magazine was revived anew in 1996 as Kick Fighter III. Biotrog and Jolas returned to action in another new series, Omni Powers, where they are joined by Balzaur of Versus and Nerva of Vengeance.


BIOTROG RETURNS
Kick Fighter III eventually folded in late 1996, but Biotrog co-creator Gilbert Monsanto would not let the character go gently into the night. In 2005, 9 years after his last appearance, the silver-masked cyborg resurfaced in Monsanto's online fan-comic Digmaan, which teamed him with various Filipino comic book heroes such as Darna and Captain Barbell.
In 2006, Monsanto published Rambol Komiks under his independent imprint Sacred Mountain Publications. One-half of this flip-book format anthology magazine ran the series Metropolitan, which brought together many of the characters Monsanto created throughout his career. Among them was Biotrog, but as it turns out, the hero that appeared wasn't really the original version. This was actually his son, Rayden Summers, who had followed in his father's bionic footsteps in the series' future timeline.

Good thing he kept the name. "Biotray" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

As for the original Biotrog, he is slated to return in Biotrog Reassembled, a project tentatively scheduled for 2011.

COVERS







Saturday, December 4, 2010

BIOTROG: Bring On the Bad Guys


What's a hero without an arch-villain or two? Or three? Or, hell, an entire angry mob screaming for his blood? In this installment, we round up the usual suspects in Biotrog's rogues gallery.

BIOLANTE
Biotrog's "prototype," Biolante was the first recepient of Dr. Wang's cyborg technology, as well as his first adopted son. He went on to become an international assassin, until he was imprisoned following a failed mission. He returns seeking vengeance against Dr. Wang (who he felt had turned his back on him) and his foster brother Roger/Biotrog. Biolante appeared to die in battle against Biotrog, but was later resurrected after an alien entity merged with his body.
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Biolante's bionic right arm conceals a set of retractable cybernetic claws similar to Biotrog's. After merging with the alien, he could mutate his left arm into a scaly, clawed, monstrous form. He could also shoot powerful energy blasts he calls his "Beta Beam" from his eyes.

Biolante appears to have a love/hate relationship with Biotrog, as he is just as likely to save his "brother" as he is to kill him.


RIPPER
The leader of the very same crime syndicate responsible for the murder of Roger Summers' parents. The Syndicate's symbol is a hawk's head tattooed on the left arm.

Ripper's weapons of choice were a pair of samurai swords. He also appeared to be capable of long-distance hypnotism. He was later killed (and his Syndicate taken over) by the ninja assassin Koji.

IRON CLAW

Ripper's brother, who tried to wrest control of the Syndicate on the same night the Summers were murdered. Failing that, Iron Claw formed his own splinter group, distinguished from the original Syndicate by placing the hawk's head symbol on the chest.

Iron Claw was later killed by the vigilante extremist Mr. Grey.





KOJI
A ninja assassin hired by Ripper to elminate Biotrog, Koji killed Ripper instead and took over as the Syndicate's new leader.

Koji later had his left foot sliced off in a fight with Biotrog. He was eventually fitted with a cybernetic foot by an alien of the same species as the one Biolante had merged with. He would also acquire telekinetic powers he calls his "Super Eye" after praying to an evil goddess.


MR. GREY
The victim of a grave injustice, Edmund Grey exacted murderous revenge on the criminals who stole from his family and raped his two daughters. Disillusioned with the system, he then set his sights on corrupt government officials, police officers and businessmen.

A master-level black ninja, Mr. Grey often matched wits with the cyborg vigilante Biotrog, their conflict as much a clash of martial art prowess as it is of their radically opposing views on justice. But eventually, Grey saw the error of his ways and turned himself in. He later died heroically trying to stop a prison break.

Mr. Grey's twin brother Bernard would become an ally of Biotrog as the Red Ninja.


THE BLACK KING'S COURT

A chess-based criminal organization led by a crime boss known only as the Black King, with the beautiful and dangerous Black Queen ruling by his side. The Black King's two advisors, the "Bishops," are actual bishops turned crooked. A pair of sadistic killers are the group's "Knights," while eight foot soldiers serve as their "Pawns."


KINGS OF THE STREETS

A rival gang to the Black King's group. Headed by King Cobra, other members include Tetsi, Mason and Beret.


POISON IVY




















Not to be confused with-- uh, some botanist up in Gotham, THIS Poison Ivy is an assassin for hire who employs poison gas (hence the name) and a fan that shoots out blades at her targets. A rose with a strong scent and really sharp thorns. She has been seen working for both the War Claws and King Cobra.


NO-FACE

A faceless mud-monster spawned from toxic waste, No-Face attacks with devastating sonic waves, and almost nothing can harm its malleable body except for fire and ice.

The creature later merges with an escaped convict named George, transforming him into the new No-Face (Never mind the fact that he does HAVE a face this time out).


AKURA

An evil ninja clan master who harbors a vendetta against Bernard Grey's family.

In later appearances, he is actually referred to as "Akuma," but let's just call him by his more original name.

DIYOSANG ITIM ("BLACK GODDESS")

The evil deity worshipped by Koji, she was responsible for giving him his "Super Eye" (dig that crazy name).














DEMON BIOTROG





















A bloodthirsty demon who assumes Biotrog's form, it takes the combined forces of Biotrog and fellow Kick Fighter hero Kahddim to stop him.

YONDABIS

Dr. Wang's real son, who rebelled and turned to the dark side. He plots to destroy Roger and take his place as the new Biotrog.


SIKEM

Yondabis' messenger, and... Yeah, that's about it.
















P.S.
I knew there was a reason I posted this. December 5 is the International Day of the Ninja. Happy Ninja Day, everybody!