Wednesday 18 August 2010

Guest Columnist: The Red Skull

The thing people ask me most often is “Red, is that actually your skull, or some kind of mask?”. Well, guys, let me set the record straight: it’s a mask. It’s cast from really heavy red rubber and, the first few times I wore it, it was a bastard to breathe in let me tell you! I remember saying to the Fuhrer, “Adie, I’m sure it looks cool, but I’m going to pass out in about three sec...*crumple*.”

I’m one of two people the Fuhrer ever gave the kiss of life to. The other was Blondie and, all I’m saying is, I’m glad I went first. No-one needs to be woken up by second-hand dog breath.

The mask is like anything else, though. You get used to it. Sometimes I hate it, but I’d been wearing it for seventy-odd years now: it’d feel funny if I stopped wearing it. I might even be like one of those Tibetan yaks, and have become so acclimatised that if I stop wearing it, I’ll die!

I grew up in a small village in Germany, to my parents Hermann and Martha. All in all, my birth was something of a kerfuffle. My mother tragically died in childbirth, and my Dad then tried to kill me. You’d think a son would be some sort of comfort to him, but NO...death in that house was like a tube of Pringles. Once you pop...

It was only the consummate punching of the doctor that managed to subdue my father from his rage, and we all laugh about it now. Well, I do. He’s dead.

I took any jobs I could get for a while – sleeping rough when I had to – before one day finally falling into my job as a bellboy at a swanky hotel. I could tell you some stories about that place. There’s something about a hotel than seems to attract weirdos. To put that into context, I’m a Aryan-supremacist murderer in a red rubber mask that makes me look like a strawberry Chuppa-Chupps, and I think they’re weird.

Anyway, it was during my period working there that I was lucky enough to meet Adie for the first time. He was bollocking some office of his, when he said “Must I create my own race of perfect Aryans? I could teach that Bell Boy to do a better job than you!”.

It’s hard not to take offence at something like that, but I did my best. Adie came over to me and said “The way you look at me! The envy, the jealousy in your eyes! The sheer blazing hatred! I know those emotions! You too hate all mankind! What an inspiration this gives me! You shall be my greatest achievement ! I shall make a perfect Nazi of you! You will serve me – you will be my right arm! You will never fail me!”

At least, that’s how Adie tells it. Truth be told I was just coming to the end of a twelve hour shift, and not really listening. There is something about a long day dealing with the public that can lead to you hating all mankind, though, so maybe that’s where he got the idea from. I was just bringing in his breakfast.

Next thing I know, I’m his right hand man, leading an entire wing of the German government dedicated to espionage and sabotage. It just goes to show to you that it’s a case of being in the right place at the right time. All those German officers turn up and give it lots of effort – but Adie wanted none of that. He wanted someone who was born to be the face of the Third Reich. Well, not the “face” if you want to get technical, as my face has remained inside this sweltering basketball for the past several decades.

All in all, it was a fun time to be around. There was lots of firing MP40s at Captain America and laughing. There were some pretty awesome parties, too.

Of course, much has changed since Adie was running the show. Berlin’s still a lovely place, but it’s not the same. I just kind of keep myself to myself these days. I do occasional convention appearances and the like, because it’s always nice to meet the fans. I’ve written a memoir that’s due for publication in 2011 dealing with my life during and shortly after World War II, titled Steve, Me, and Bucky Makes Three, so there’s plenty of life in me yet.

Words: Johann Schimdt


THQ yesterday announced that they will be launching a rewards program for upcoming third-person Shooter, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, scheduled to ship for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

The loyalty program, dubbed "Honor Guard", will allow gamers to become part of an elite group of Space Marine fans who will be given the opportunity to become involved in the success of the game. Honor Guard members will get the latest news, exclusive access to first look assets and receive reward points for viral activity, which could result in rewards of exclusive Space Marine branded items.

To kick off the Honor Guard program THQ will be handing out an Ultramarine cloth patch at Gamescom with directions on how to register for a free “For the Emperor” ring tone. The patch will also be handed out at Games Workshop’s UK Games Day event at the Birmingham NEC on September 26th. This item is the first of five items that fans are encouraged to collect over the next few months at various shows around the globe. More details about these items will be released throughout the year.

Combining intense melee and ranged combat, Space Marine will put players into the boots of one of humanity’s elite soldiers, genetically engineered and equipped with state of the art weapons and armor. Players are dropped right into the action as they battle to defend an Imperial Forge World, from an invasion by the savage and brutal Orks, using the most devastating weaponry mankind has at its disposal.

Set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, Space Marine is scheduled to be released worldwide for Xbox 360, PS3 system and PC in 2011.

Timur Bekmambetov, the genius behind Wanted and Night Watch presents Russia’s greatest superhero as Black Lightning swoops onto DVD and Blu-ray Disc from September 6th, 2010 courtesy of Universal Pictures International Entertainment.

When student Dima is bought a car for his birthday he thinks the answer to all of his problems has finally arrived. But when the car turns out to be a beaten up old Volga his excitement turns into embarrassment until he discovers the car’s flighty secret. Armed with the car’s hidden technology that harks back to the Cold War, Dima revels in his new-found power of flight and reinvents himself as the mysterious Black Lightning, crime fighter, Moscow’s saviour and arch-nemesis of a corrupt industrialist with his eyes on domination at any cost...

Packed with the incredible visual effects fans of Bekmambetov have come to expect, Black Lightning has the potential to bethis year’s must-see superhero adventure; having already trounced both Harry Potter and Twilight at its domestic box office in 2009.

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