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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.


Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.


Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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GIFs via Giphy

Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:


The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.


They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!


Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.


Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.



Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”


IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?

Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!

Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.

Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 


IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.