Sunday, April 26, 2015

Geekdom Madness 2015: The Real Game: Rhapsody in Purple/Umbrellas

Welcome to Geekdom Madness 2015: The Real Game. Our first matches: Bo vs Bamf and Wings vs Waddle.

Let's reacquaint ourselves with the combatants:

MATCH 1: Rhapsody in Purple


Donatello was created along with his fellow Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 1984 by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. Starting life as a sketch mocking the darker atmosphere in comics at the time (particularly Frank Miller's run on "Daredevil"), Eastman and Laird used their tax refund to publish a single comic. The series soon became a modest underground success until 1987, when Eastman and Laird were approached by Playmates Toys with merchandising options. The action figures were molded, a more child-friendly cartoon was produced by Fred Wolf, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles because a worldwide phenomenon.

In the first issue of the comic, all the turtles except for Raphael were fairly interchangeable (even having the same color bandanas). Starting with the second issue, personality traits began to slowly emerge, and Donatello was shown soldering a circuit. This eventually evolved into the tech-savvy psuedo-nerd persona that most fans associate with Donnie.

In the 1987 cartoon, Donatello is voiced by Barry Gorden, with Greg Berg serving as an alternate starting in 1989. Since then, he's been voice in various animated media by Mitchell Whitfield, Sam Reigal, and Rob Paulsen.

Live-Action appearances usually have a different voice than the person in the costume. In the 1990s film series, Donatello is performed by Leif Tilden in the first two and Jim Raposa in the third, while he is voiced by Corey Feldman in the first and third with Adam Carl taking over in the second while Feldman was in rehab. In the late-1990s television show "The Next Mutation," Donatello is performed by Richard Yee and voiced by Jason Grey-Stanford. Finally, in the 2014 motion picture, Donatello was played by Jeremy Howard in both body and voice using motion capture.


Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler was created by Dave Cockrum and Len Wein for the X-Men comic series. He debuted in "Giant Size X-Men #1" in May of 1975, though the character was pitched by Cockrum in several iterations for several different titles across several different comic companies before being greenlit for the new round of X-Men. His debut as a mutant was a departure from Cockrum's original concept: a demon who was banished from hell for failing a mission. He was also changed to German because editor Roy Thomas wanted the new X-Men to be a multinational group.

Since his inception, Nightcrawler has become one of the more popular recurring members in the X-Men roster. Though rarely in starting lineups, multimedia adaptations that run long enough tend to include him eventually. He has been voiced in various media by Stan Jones, Neil Ross, Adrian Hough, Janusz Bukowski, Brad Swaile, Alan Cumming, Liam O'Brien, Tyler Sutherland, Dee Bradley Baker, and Yuri Lowenthal. He is next set to appear in 2016's "X-Men: Apocalypse" played by Kodi Smit-McPhee.


MATCH 2: Umbrellas


 Lexington was created by Greg Weisman (and an uncredited team) for the 1994 animated series "Gargoyles." Lexington quickly became a favorite of the popular show due to his unconventional design and soft-spoken personality. He usually provided comic relief along with his brothers Brooklyn and Broadway, though all three had their moments of serious character development throughout the series.

Although Lexington was shown competing for the affections of a female in one episode, Wiseman stated that he considers Lexington to be gay and would have tried to drop more hints had the series continued.

In all official appearances, Lexington is voiced by Thom Adcox-Hernandez.


Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger in the December 1941 issue of "Detective Comics." Since his debut, he has been considered one of the "Big Four" Batman rogues.

Inspired by the Kool Cigarettes mascot, he was thought of as a mobster who fancied himself a gentleman thief. More modern interpretations tend to alternate and/or integrate this persona with a more grotesque outcast imagined by Tim Burton for the 1992 film "Batman Returns."

The Penguin was most famously played by Burgess Meridith in the 1960's Batman television show (who created the trademark "Waugh" sound to mask his coughing from cigarette smoke), and by Danny DeVito in "Returns." He has also been played in various media by Ted Knight, Lennie Weinrib, Frank Welker, Paul Williams, David Odgen Stiers, Tom Kenny, Stephen Root, Robin Lord Taylor, David Jennison, and Nolan North.


Final Verdict
It occurs to me that Donatello and Lexington are very much cut from the same cloth - tech-savvy inhuman humanoids. Do you all want two shots with that character archetype? Or are there more Marvel and DC fans who want a chance at that particular showdown? Some combination thereof?

As always, make sure you're viewing the WEB version of the site and vote in the polls (remember, there are two now) on the right-hand side of the screen. Polls close Friday, and results posted on Saturday. Feel free to discuss your picks in the comments below.


  1. Wait....So in X-Men's Apocalypse Nightcrawler's going to be Norman Babcock. I'd find this odd if it weren't for the fact that Kodi's voice has probably changed by now.

    And I was so shocked to learn that the same voice of Dipstick from 101 Dalmatians the Series is Lexington. Oh voice actor revelations.

  2. Paranorman. Awesome movie.