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“Man of Steel” photo analysis: Get to know the characters who aren’t Superman

“Man of Steel” photo analysis: Get to know the characters who aren’t Superman (photo)

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In the latest batch of photos from the set of “Man of Steel,” Zack Snyder’s upcoming reboot of the Superman movie franchise, we not only get another look at star Henry Cavill in the old cape and tights, we also get our first look at some of the villains he’ll be facing off against in the 2013 film.

As we reported earlier, the new photos provide our first look at actress Antje Traue in costume as the Kryptonian villain Faora, as well as an unidentified actor in a motion-capture suit. The pair are clearly getting place for a showdown with Superman, but for many people following developments on the film, there’s still one big question: Who the heck are they?

Well, don’t worry if you’re not entirely sure who the pair of villains are that appear in these photos — you’re not alone. While the identity of the actor in the motion-capture suit is uncertain at this point, Faora herself isn’t exactly a household name in the comics world, either.

faora.jpgIn the DC Comics universe, there have been several iterations of characters named Faora. The first and possibly best-known version of the character was introduced in a 1977 issue of Action Comics, and was man-hating Kryptonian villain sentenced to spend 300 years in the Phantom Zone for torturing and murdering male inmates at a concentration camp near her home. A frequent collaborator with General Zod (the main villain of “Man of Steel,” played by Michael Shannon), Faora was also a master of Horo-Kanu, a Kryptonian martial art that made her an extremely formidable opponent for Superman.

Over the years, several lesser-known versions of the character debuted in Superman’s comic-book adventures, including several alternate-world versions who were man-hating killers, too.

Surprisingly, Faora’s history on the screen is a bit more notable.

In the Christopher Reeve-starring “Superman” and “Superman II,” the character of Ursa was based on Faora, and much like her comics counterpart, she served as the right-hand woman to General Zod. Faora also appeared in several arcs of the long-running television series “Smallville,” and though she began in a similar partnership with Zod, her character departed the series fighting alongside Clark Kent.

Thus far, little is known about the “Man of Steel” version of Faora, though the latest photos seem to indicate she’ll follow the fashion sense of her “Superman” and “Superman II” predecessor, played by Sarah Douglas. Apparently, bad guys (and girls) on Krypton wear black, too.

As for our mystery motion-capture man, there’s not much we can surmise from the new photos, though there is one minor element that could be cause for speculation.

Take a good look at the photos and you’ll notice a long bar sticking out of the top of the actor’s back and rising a few feet into the air. Could this be an indication of the character’s height once the digital effects are rendered? Given the alien nature of Superman, Faora, and Zod, it’s within the realm of possibility that we could be seeing a few other additions to the live-action Superman movie universe — so why not make ’em taller than your average human (or Kryptonian)?

Start the speculation now, folks — there’s a lot of time between now and June 2013.

What do you think of the “Man of Steel” villains? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.