This Post Contains Spoilers for the Upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy!
With all of the attention surrounding the Avengers franchise in the last few days, Marvel wanted to make sure the world didn’t forget that they have another team of superheroes hitting screens in just a couple of weeks. And the way they chose to go about that was by revealing a cast list that let some of the most exciting, buzzed about and truly bizarre cameos in Guardians of the Galaxy slip to the entire Internet. According to Stitch Kingdom, cult favorite Nathan Fillion will be appearing as “Monstrous Inmate,” – which is a bit of a letdown, considering the amount of press his cameos has generated over the past few months – Stan Lee will play “Xandarian Ladies Man,” and Howard the Duck will be making an appearance as himself.
Yes, you read that last sentence correctly: Howard the Duck will be in Guardians of the Galaxy. It hasn’t be revealed why, when, or how he will make a cameo, but he will be there, and Stitch Kingdom has the casting scroll to prove it. But as absurd as it seems to have Howard the Duck, who despite his divisive feature film is a Marvel fan favorite, appear in Guardians of the Galaxy, it doesn’t even come close to topping the list of the most bizarre character crossovers and cameos. Seriously, there are things out there that are stranger and more confusing than the prospect of Howard hanging out with Rocket and Groot. Don’t believe us? Take a look for yourself:
Charles Barkley and Godzilla The union of the five-time NBA All-Star and two-time Hall of Famer and the giant mutant lizard that has been known to both spit fire and shoot lasers from his eyes was originally conceived as a Nike ad, and later expanded into a comic book. Because nothing says “cool sneakers” like a basketball-playing kaiju that can’t actually fit his giant feet into shoes. Also, who was buying that comic book?
Spider-Man and Ren and Stimpy There was once a time when you hadn’t properly made it until your cartoon got its own comic book. Unfortunately, some shows just aren’t meant to be read, and Ren & Stimpy is one of them, so when the comic book (unsurprisingly) failed to sell, they brought in the big guns: Spider Man. In true Ren & Stimpy fashion, Spidey took on Powdered Toast Man, that beloved vigilante superhero/breakfast food spokesman. If you’ve ever wanted to know what it was like to read a 12-year-old's fever dream, this is the comic for you.
Superman and the Quik Bunny Spider-Man isn’t the only superhero to succumb to some very obvious product placement. Superman one teamed up with the Quik Bunny, purveyor of powder that makes your milk brown, in order to fight the Weather Man, a lame villain with fourth-tier powers and a costume that made him look like he was starring in a community theater production of Robin Hood. At least Spider-Man had the dignity of fighting with a fictional breakfast-hero.
Inspector Gadget and Mario and Luigi Remember the Super Mario Bros. Super Show!? No? Well, that’s probably for the best, but it does mean that you missed seeing Inspector Gadget, the world’s more over-equipped and incompetent detective, get his various malfunctioning parts fixed by Mario and Luigi, who are supposed to be plumbers. You probably wouldn’t be surprised to find out that it goes horribly wrong, to no-doubt hilarious consequences. Clearly, the moral of this episode was to play to your strengths, and maybe not to call a plumber to fix a wire problem.
Archie and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles On some level, this one probably makes some sense. After all, Archie and his friends are teenagers, and so are the Ninja Turtles. Both groups like pizza and video games and, from the looks of the cover, dance parties. But what’s really strange about this crossover is that it happened as the result of the Turtles being spit out by a giant cow head, which apparently allowed them to hop through various dimensions. Mutant ninja turtles or no, there had to be an easier way to get these guys to Riverdale.
Arthur and Mr. Rogers In what is perhaps the most well-meaning, mild-mannered crossover of all time, Mr. Rogers appeared on an episode of Arthur that centered around Arthur being embarrassed that the friendliest man on television was going to be staying at his house. Of course, this conflict is solved with a charming heart-to-heart that taught children that real friends don’t make fun of their friends for what they like. Unless that thing is Transformers. Not even Mr. Rogers can endorse Michael Bay.
Marvel Superheroes and Guiding Light You know who’s really into comic books and superheroes? The kind of people who religiously watch daytime soap operas – we’re assuming that was the pitch that got Guiding Light to team up with Marvel on a crossover episode that saw soccer mom Harley Davidson Cooper gain superpowers after being struck by lightning on Halloween night and transform into Guiding Light. (Seriously.) The saddest part of this is that Marvel clearly didn’t learn anything from their failed experiment at reaching a new audience, since they had the Thor announcement revealed on The View.
Batman and Robin and Scooby Doo When it comes to crime-fighting teams, there are two that stand above everyone else: Batman and Robin and the Mystery Gang. So teaming them up on The New Scooby Doo Movies to uncover a hooded counterfeiter who’s been sending the Penguin and the Joker fake money makes perfect sense, right? Sure, if you live in a world where Mrs. Baker is on the same level of super villainy as two of the most iconic comic book villains of all time. Fun fact: this episode was so poorly received that Batman later made fun of it in an episode of his own.
Cartoon All-Stars to the RescueThe plot of this movie sees cartoon favorites like Winnie the Pooh, Alvin and the Chipmunks, the Muppet Babies, the Looney Toons, and the Smurfs come to life in order to convince Michael to stop smoking pot, drinking, and stealing from his sister’s piggy bank for drug money. Because if anything is going to convince someone to stop doing drugs, it’s a bunch of cartoon characters who suddenly come to life and sing songs about life choices. Clearly, all D.A.R.E. really needed to be effective was Daffy Duck.
Chloë Grace Moretz has been staying incredibly busy, with new projects being announced and promoted all over the place. Next up for the talented young star is the Japanese animated film The Tale of Princess Kaguya. Studio Ghibli (co-founded by Hayao Miyazaki) is behind this one, and people are expecting great things. Here's a look at the 2013 production:
The movie is based on the oldest recorded Japanese story The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, and tellsof a tiny girl found inside a stalk of bamboo. According to Entertainment Weekly "she grows into a beautiful woman who attracts many suitors, though she hides a secret."
Moretz will voice the lead role of Kaguya, and she stars alongside James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Darren Criss, Lucy Liu, James Marsden, and John Cho.
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Rocker Deryck Whibley is overcoming his booze battle with the help of reformed hellraisers Iggy Pop and Tommy Lee. In May (14), the Sum 41 star revealed he had been hospitalised in an intensive care unit after his kidneys and liver collapsed following years of hard boozing.
He has now quit drinking and is determined to keep on a straight path, and he has revealed several fellow stars who have battled booze demons are helping him adjust to a life of sobriety.
Whibley tells Kerrang! magazine, "Now I'm sober, I don't get calls from certain people that I used to... the drinking friends. Now I'm the bum-out to them. Who wants to invite the sober guy to the party?
"Y'know who has been incredibly supportive? Iggy Pop. He had a lot of great advice; he's been through it all. We've been friends for years. Same for Tommy Lee from Motley Crue. He told me what to expect from people, that not everyone will understand. Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum from Guns N' Roses have been great too. We go out for coffee and talk about s**t."
Cult Swedish star Lykke Li is technically homeless after spending her time crashing at friends' places around the world.
The singer reveals she has been staying with pals because she has yet to buy her own place, but she plans to establish a more settled life once she wraps up her 2014 tour commitments. She tells Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, "I have bags all over the world that I'll probably never see again."
However, Li admits she is having a little trouble deciding where she wants to set down roots. She adds, "For me that's been a big problem: where should my home be? I've neglected that question my whole life."
The perfect home isn't the only thing Li covets - she would love to start a family, too, although she is not so sure about the idea of marriage. She says, "My dream is to live on a ranch and have a family and a garden and kids and lots of instruments. I want to create a beautiful atmosphere and a beautiful childhood..."
"I'm not opposed to marriage - it's never been something that I've dreamt of. I'm pretty shy when it comes to big crowds. I wouldn't want to have a big wedding, and bureaucracy freaks me out. I want to live an uncomplicated life."
British pop star Paul Heaton has recalled his terror as he was chased from a London hotel by a Saudi royal's irate bodyguard. The former The Beautiful South frontman once tried to sneak into London's Columbia Hotel for an after-hours drink with his bandmate Dave Rotheray, but they were thwarted by a security worker.
The burly bouncer threatened to kill Heaton and he was only saved by the arrival of cops, who then arrested the singer and threw him in a cell for 18 hours.
Heaton tells Q magazine that he and Rotheray were caught as they tried to climb through an open window at the hotel so they could pose as guests and buy booze at the bar.
He says, "(I) was met by a massive bloke in Arabian gear, running at me screaming, 'I kill you!'. Turns out he was bodyguard to this rich Saudi princess staying there... All for a late-night drink."
Country singer Joey Feek is recovering after undergoing surgery to treat cervical cancer. The Joey & Rory star was diagnosed with the disease in May (14), during a routine check-up with her gynaecologist, and she recently underwent a hysterectomy.
Her husband, Rory Feek, took to the couple's blog on Wednesday (25Jun14) to share the news with fans, writing, "The mass on her cervix had already grown to four centimeters, so a specialist recommended Joey undergo a hysterectomy to remove the cancer. She had the surgery on Friday (20Jun14) and has been recovering at home since Saturday.
"We had a follow-up appointment with the oncologist yesterday and he said that the margins and the lymph nodes he removed came back clean, so there's no more cancer in her body and she won’t need chemo or radiation."
The news comes just months after the couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Indiana, who has since been diagnosed with Down syndrome.
But Joey insists he and his wife are staying positive despite the recent hardships, adding, "Yes, it has been quite a year for us so far. In the past six months, God has taken us places we never dreamed we would go. It's been terrifying and thrilling all at the same time.
"We never know what tomorrow will bring... none of us do. But what an incredible journey life is. We are just going to continue to trust Him and hold to each other and... pedal, pedal!"
Michael Jackson's pop star nephews 3T were left stranded in Europe on the fifth anniversary of the King of Pop's death after they were caught up in the chaos of France's air traffic controllers strike.
The singers, Taj, Taryll and TJ Jackson, travelled to the Italian city of Milan this week (beg23Jun14) to attend a fashion show, and planned to head home to California on Tuesday (24Jun14) ahead of the anniversary of the superstar's passing the following day (25Jun14). However, they faced a travel nightmare after arriving at the airport to discover industrial action in France had affected outgoing flights.
TJ updated fans in posts on Twitter.com, writing, "Just got to the airport to head home and apparently there is a strike from the Italian air traffic control. The wait game begins... So it's a French air control strike... But I still have nothing but love for (the French) so it's all good. A lot of free time to play guitar..."
The brothers managed to board a flight to London later on Tuesday evening, but they were unable to catch a connection to Los Angeles so they had to spend the night in the British capital. Taryll tweets, "Hello (Britain)... Well it looks like I'll be staying the night here in London & heading home first thing in the morning."
The group spent the morning of the emotional anniversary in London before they were finally able to board a flight to L.A., with TJ confirming, "Finally heading home."
The Thriller hitmaker passed away on 25 June, 2009 following a lethal dose of the anaesthetic Propofol.
Actor Rob Lowe and his wife were involved in a dramatic rescue on Wednesday morning (25Jun14) after they were caught up in severe flooding in France.
The south-eastern region of the country was hit by heavy rain in the early hours of Wednesday, with some areas receiving the equivalent of three months rainfall in just four hours, leading to rising water levels and serious flooding.
Lowe and his wife Sheryl Berkoff were staying in Grasse when the bad weather hit, and had to be rescued when the waters reached dangerous levels.
After they reached safety, The West Wing star shared a picture of his wife hugging one of the rescuers in front of a fire engine, adding in a caption on Instagram.com, "My wife being rescued this am (morning) in the horrific flooding in Grasse France. Glad we are safe. Grateful to first responders."
Lowe also published a picture of a fast-moving river of water cascading outside the house where the couple was staying, adding, "This is right outside the house. Was twice as high at the worst, just before sunrise."
Pop star Demi Lovato has apologised for rushing past fans waiting outside an event in New York on Monday (23Jun14), blaming rude paparazzi for forcing her to make a quick exit. The Skyscraper hitmaker found herself mobbed by photographers as she left the Logo TV network's inaugural Trailblazers prizegiving in Manhattan, blocking her access to devotees who were hoping to meet the singer.
The snappers' aggressive behaviour prompted Lovato to make a quick dash to her car to escape and she subsequently took to her Twitter.com blog to chastise the paparazzi.
The angry star wrote, "When are paparazzi gonna learn? If you're respectful to me, I'll be respectful back. Why does it have to be a war of celebs against paps (sic)? Of course if you yell horrible things, I'm not gonna work with you. I'll pose if you are respectful and not being bullies."
Lovato then reached out to her fans to apologise for the incident, tweeting, "I wanted to stop for my fans today/tonight really bad because I love you so much but I can't deal with how mean those paps are.
"I always try to stop because I appreciate every single one of you, so if I don't get to you please know I'm sorry and I love you.
"Sometimes staying strong means not putting yourself in uncomfortable or triggering situations."
Soul singer Merry Clayton is facing a long recovery following a car crash in Los Angeles, according to her manager. The star, whose back-up vocal work for Ray Charles and the Rolling Stones was documented in Oscar-winning film Twenty Feet From Stardom, was left severely injured in the smash last week (ends22Jun14).
A post on Clayton's official website after the accident revealed she had suffered "major trauma to her lower extremities", and now her representative Alan Abrahams reveals the performer is staying strong despite the difficult situation.
He tells the New York Post's Page Six column that Clayton has "a long road to recovery", adding: "It's a very serious situation. She's feisty, and she's with us. She's gonna make it."
An English couple in their seventies find that the drastic changes of taking place in post-colonial India wreak havoc on their sedate way of life and lead them to regret their decision to stay rather than return to England.