When it comes to geek culture, Stan Lee may perhaps be the top superhero of them all. As the creator of some of the most famous and recognizable characters out of comic book history, seeing Lee speaking and appearing at comic book conventions and related conventions was more than just a demand, but almost a right. That’s why when he recently announced that this year’s NYC Comic Con will be his last appearance, it’s already shaking up the comic book community.
At an impressive 93 years of age, Stan Lee is typically high-spirited and full of smiles, but that doesn’t mean he is without his problems, particularly his health. The old ticker got a pacemaker put in in 2012, for example, and while Lee hasn’t given an official reason for retiring from Comic Con appearances, it’s most likely that it’s simply too much excitement for an old geezer like him.
Furthermore, in a Radio Times interview earlier this year, Lee revealed that both his sight and hearing are getting tougher and more difficult, though he did say that he is otherwise in good health. Of course there are other factors besides his health that could take a toll on his appearances, and that includes all the movie and television work that Marvel is doing, which most likely takes up a bit of his time through contract negotiations surrounding rights
One of the most easily recognizable (and controversial) Cyborgs in Hollywood history, Robocop is a technological marvel; everything but his face, cerebrum, and cerebellum has been replaced with a firefight-ready body, complete with state-of-the-art armor and a hip-stored 9mm cannon.
The original 1987 Robocop has catapulted into cult-classic territory. Officer James Murphy – the rebuilt (and revamped) hero inside the legendary suit – delivers fantastic deadpan one-liners while blowing away waves of helpless bad guys. In short, it’s fantastic.
While these officers aren’t getting cybernetic enhancements, they are getting pretty sweet loadouts for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Bucky Barnes is a long-time friend and big brother figure to Steve Rogers, the man who eventually becomes Captain America. While Bucky dies at the end of 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, fans later learn that rumors of Barnes’ demise have been greatly exaggerated.
Barnes makes his explosive return to the MCU in Captain America’s 2014 Sequel (The Winter Soldier) as the titular assassin: turns out, he was actually cryogenically frozen, equipped with an armor-coated bionic arm, and brainwashed into serving HYDRA. No Bueno.
In the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, controversy surrounding The Winter Soldier will spark conflict among the Avengers. We can’t wait to see Winter Soldier and Iron Man throw down.
Jackson “Jax” Briggs is definitely the mouthiest Cyborg in Hollywood history. Notorious for his piston-powered punches, Jax is an authority figure who always looks out for his team. His bionic arms make him one of Earth’s greatest fighters, and he’s Johnny-on-the-spot for quippy one-liners in 1995’s box-office bomb, Mortal Kombat.
We’re actually not sure if the fact that he defeats Motaro without his cybernetic arms makes him a great cyborg an awful one. That conundrum is for you to decide.
British comedian Peter Sellers may be most well-known for his remarkable portrayal of Dr. Strangelove, the ex-Nazi turned Head of U.S. Weapons Research. Strangelove is a quirky, tittering scientist whose bionic right arm has a mind of its own, leading to some decidedly awkward moments throughout the duration of the film.
The wheel-chair bound Strangelove can’t seem to control his cybernetic limb; as society teeters on the edge of World War III, the arm begins to develop fascist tendencies, spontaneously and unpredictably rising into a Nazi salute.
While Strangelove doesn’t fight off mutants or try to conquer the galaxy, his misbehaving robo-limb qualifies him as one of film’s most iconic cyborgs.
As Trekkies know, Resistance is Futile. The Borg are by and far the greatest baddies (beside Khan, duh) ever introduced in the Star Trek universe; these hive-minded Cyborgs are actually a monster mash of numerous alien species spliced together with nanobots. The terrifying Borg are always trying to assimilate new races into their Collective, and even get their claws on Picard for a short period of time.
What makes the zombie-like Borg so great is their willingness to splice more and more tech into their body, creating uniquely powerful and terrifying drones. Their Queen, Alice Krige, continues to haunt our memories some twenty years later.
Astronaut Steve Austin crashes an experimental space craft, barely surviving the catastrophe. He is rebuilt by the shadowy Office of Scientific Intelligence, reborn as a super-spy with a whole set of bionic limbs. His right arm, left eye, and both legs are replaced with cybernetic implants; these implants imbue him with superhuman speed and strength, basically transforming him into a Cyborg James Bond.
Everyone not living under a rock is familiar with Lee Majors and the iconic Six Million Dollar Man franchise. It’s a staple of Western television and one of the first shows to wow audiences with its use of slow motion scenes in combat. Plus, Majors kicked so much tail in the role that even Wahlberg wants a piece of the action.
“We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was… Better…stronger…faster.” It still gets us every time!
Does the original Dark Lord really need an explanation? There’s not a single person breathing who would argue against the inclusion THE cybernetically-enhanced human whose iconic mask (and theme song) are pillars of all things Evil.
Vader was even bad-ass enough to survive through the God-awful origin story that the Star Wars prequels spun – that in itself is actually far more impressive than surviving a quick dip in a lava pit.
Since the Dawn of Man, the human race has looked to the stars. Our earliest civilizations created entire religions and myths based upon the cosmos, telling tales of powerful beings that shaped our world and ruled from above. The tales of our ancestors are the roots of modern science fiction; stories that struggle to comprehend the unknown, to explain those burning points of light so far overhead. We apply whatever worldly knowledge we possess in a pitiful attempt to grasp the inner workings of an infinitely-complex universe.
It is our destiny, some argue, to leave this Earth behind and explore the endless depths of space. They believe that man should strive to master and subvert the universal laws, bending them to our will with astounding technological achievements. It is our duty to create, to improve, to move forward. And so we do – if only in literature or film.
The science fiction genre offers us a voyeuristic glance beyond the veil of time, into a future where anything is possible. The very best sci-fi films speculate about the technological, medical, and societal advancements that man will make decades before those feats are possible; it should come as no surprise that they are, many times, unsettlingly accurate. The worst of these films tend to feature more fiction than science, driving us to painstakingly detail all the ways $140 million could have been better spent. (I’m looking at you, Armageddon.)
Here are the most believable science fiction movies ever produced, in absolutely no particular order…
Kubrick’s classic is considered by many rocket scientists to be one of the most scientifically accurate films of all time. Every detail is nailed; the oppressive silence of space, the soundless movement of spacecraft, the positioning of Earth’s satellites, the centrifugal force used aboard the Discovery One. Even the astronaut’s systematical and deliberate approach to their space travel duties and the food they eat is right.
Oh – and you’re not going to like this part – HAL 9000’s slow descent into murderous insanity is (borderline) plausible. The supercomputer’s decision to kill the astronauts aboard Discovery is motivated by a sense of self-preservation and a desire to comply with conflicting mission directives.
“You can’t train [artificial intelligence] for every problem it might have to solve,” roboticist Daniel H. Wilson told Popular Science. “Different levels of classified information are exactly the wrench that could turn a predictable learner into a murderer.”
Mind = blown.