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The 20 Best Character Introductions in Film

First impressions are crucial in film. Whether it’s a hero, a villain, or any other crucial character, it’s vital that someone’s first appearance in a story make an impact in just the way a filmmaker wants. While not every character introduction is meant to wow audiences and leave a lasting impression, plenty of them are designed to do so.

The greatest character introductions say vital things about the character and inform the larger film as a whole. Whether this is through big and bombastic fight scenes or intimate, detailed character studies, the best introductions linger in the memory and strengthen the character.

As some ground rules, an introduction included here has to be the first time we are introduced to a character in a film, but not necessarily an entire franchise. He or she may have been spotted briefly in the film previously, but not given a true introduction. In addition, the first time a character takes on a new identity does not count, such as Bruce Wayne’s first appearance as Batman halfway through Batman Begins.

Have your own personal favorite character introductions? Let me know in the comments section!

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The 30 Greatest Antiheroes in Fiction (Part 2 of 2)

We’ve arrived at the top 15 antiheroes in film, books, comic books, television, and videogames, with only the best of the best facing off here. From unrepentent criminals to stoic samurais to post-apocalyptic warriors, these 15 heroes define the greatness of the antihero character type.

The dangerous, heroic, and difficult character listed hero are among the greatest characters ever seen in fiction, with their unforgettable stories inspiring legions of fans across decades. These 15 antiheroes are unmatched. And if you have your own personal favorites, put yours in the comments section below!

For #30 to #16, Read Part 1 of The 30 Greatest Antiheroes in Fiction.

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The 30 Greatest Antiheroes in Fiction (Part 1 of 2)

The antihero captivates in a way that encapsulates why audiences love both heroes and villains. Their often tragic pasts, murky moral codes, and unconventional story arcs can often enrapture audiences in deeper, more human and relatable ways than traditional heroes while still giving them a reason to root for them to win. From bounty hunters to killers to criminals, antiheroes in films, television, and books are some of the most beloved and memorable characters ever created.

The following 30 characters are the best of the best, representing all sides of the antihero character archetype and showing what makes them truly special. Have your own personal favorites? Let me know in the comments section!

One point of clarification, some antiheroes eventually change into full-fledged heroes. Those that have spent the majority of their time in fiction being heroes are not included here, such as Han Solo. For some of these heroes, read The 50 Greatest Heroes of All Time.

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The 20 Best Horror Movie Posters

Great poster art conveys the central ideas, overarching themes, and raw emotions of films in a single image. For horror films, that often comes down to distilling a sense of terror into a haunting, unforgettable work of art that catches the eyes and emotions of audiences. While there are plenty of clichéd elements to be found in horror posters (just like the clichéd elements that appear in the movies themselves again and again), like bloody knives, skulls, and shadows, the best art in the genre either crafts bracingly new concepts to reinvigorate the iconography of these films, or uses these iconic elements to their most effective degree.

The following 20 horror movie posters represent the best of the best from across the decades and have made a lasting impact on genre fans. From the defining works of the genre to newer entries that have flipped horror on its head, these horror posters have haunted nightmares and inspired creators the world over.

Have your own personal favorite horror movie posters? Let me know in the comments!

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The 13 Best Horror Movie Musical Themes

All October, we’re spotlighting horror! From classics of the genre to counting down the many elements that make horror into one of cinema’s most vibrant genres, we’re diving deep all month long.

Effective horror sets a distinct mood in order to envelop audiences and chill them to the bone. And while camera work, themes, and acting are all major components of effective mood setting, film scoring plays a massive role. And within that, main musical themes play a crucial part in creating a unique sonic identity for a horror film.

While many horror films resort to interchangeable droning bass and screaming strings to achieve a well-worn and overly familiar musical identity, the best of the best forge new ground and becoming unmistakably unique. From humming keyboards to blaring orchestras and even a few rock n roll bands, the best horror musical themes stand toe to toe with the best of any film genre. The following 13 horror theme songs have helped to shape the genre’s score and have firmly planted themselves in the hearts and minds of horror fans everywhere.

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Best Saxophone Solos in Music

15 Pop Songs With Sweet Sax Solos

I love a great saxophone solo. Whether that’s in jazz or pop music, there’s something that just feels fantastic when the blaring notes of a saxophone rip through a song at just the right moment. While the greatness of the saxophone solo in mainstream pop music came to prominence in the 1980s, it’s been making its mark on music in the years before and the decades after.

The following 15 songs have fantastic saxophone solos that elevate them to the next level. From the cheesy to the pitch perfect, each of these saxophone solos are just right for any fan of the instrument and music in general. And if you don’t love saxophone solos, then I just have pity for you.

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Every Superman: The Animated Series Episode Ranked, Part 2: #20 – 1

As part of celebrating the 20th anniversary of Superman: The Animated Series, we finish our countdown of every single episode of the cartoon. From the debuts of terrifying villains to humongous intergalactic clashes to team ups with a certain Dark Knight, these 20 episodes are the best stories ever offered by the DC Comics Books series.

For #45 to 21, read Part 1 of Every S:TAS Episode Ranked.

20. New Kids in Town

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There’s not nearly enough time spent in Smallville throughout the course of Superman: The Animated Series, so an entire episode set in Clark’s rural hometown is very welcome. Not only that, but it’s a time travel episode and it introduced the Legion of Super-Heroes! As Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, and Chameleon Boy chase a Brainiac from the 31st Century into the past, they wind up in Smallville at the time Clark Kent was a teenager. Of course, Brainiac is there to wipe him out of existence. It’s sort of like Back to the Future crossed with Superman, which is a great compliment. And while the Legionnaires themselves are a bit bland, young Clark and the time travel shenanigans make for a fun time.

19. Identity Crisis

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As a villain who is a polar opposite to Superman, Bizarro most often functions as either a joke character or a tragic one. Here, the emphasis is much more on the tragic and the result is far better than any follow-up stories featuring the character. In an attempt to replicate the alien physiology of Superman, Lex Luthor creates an imperfect clone whose biology quickly degrades into the monster known as Bizarro. It’s the twisted logic of Bizarro that makes him both hero and villain, as he cannot tell right from wrong. It all leads to a climactic showdown and a heroic sacrifice that caps off the tale in a most fitting manner.

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Every Superman: The Animated Series Episode Ranked, Part 1: #45 – 21

September 6 marks the 20th anniversary of Superman: The Animated Series, creator Bruce Timm’s follow up cartoon series to Batman: The Animated Series. Premiering in 1996, S:TAS was the second entry in what would soon come to be known as the DC Animated Universe, eventually leading to the revival of B:TAS and the eventual premiere of the Justice League team-up series.

While S:TAS is not as fondly remembered as the Batman cartoon series that preceded it, Timm worked similar magic in this animated interpretation of The Man of Steel. From the character’s classic origins to his escalating battles with the villainous Darkseid and the legions of Apokolips, Superman: The Animated Series sought to bring every classic element of its hero to life faithfully.

Inspired by Max Fleischer’s cartoon serials of the 1940s, Jack Kirby’s 4th World comics, and John Byrne’s 1986 modern reboot of the character, Timm and his Warner Bros. team sought to make Superman: The Animated Series a tribute to both the classic and modern versions of the hero. Over the course of almost four years and 54 episodes, they created one of the best versions of Superman ever seen on screen.

Follow along for a celebratory ranking of every episode of Superman: The Animated Series, with multi-part episodes grouped together, and let us know your favorite episodes in the comment section below!

45. Superman’s Pal

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When Bruce Timm himself proclaims an episode to be the worst thing they ever did on the show, it’s hard to argue with the man. And Superman’s Pal, which focuses on Jimmy Olsen as he deals with overwhelming fame due to being identified as The Man of Steel’s best friend, is shoddy. It doesn’t get any better when Metallo is introduced as a last minute villain, who is defeated by Jimmy splashing battery acid on him. It’s all dumb. Let’s move on.

44. Unity

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S:TAS often found its greatest strengths in relying on well-established characters and pursuing a more classic sensibility in its storytelling. Unity does neither of those and it shows. Starring Supergirl (with Clark conveniently written out of the episode), Unity sees a roaming preacher come to Smallville who is actually a grotesque, tentacle monster who plans to take over the world one person at a time. It’s gross, dark, and weird, but not in a refreshing break from the normal episode sort of way. As such, it turns out to be a misfire in general.

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The 15 Best Film Remakes

The Ghostbusters remake is almost here and while this modern reboot has caused quite the online stir, it’s only the latest in a very, very long line of film remakes. And while the term remake can cause worldwide groans and visions of poorly done cash grab films that pale in comparison to their original versions, there are, in fact, many great film remakes.

The following 15 remakes are the best of the best, sometimes equally and even surpassing their original in terms of quality. From revisits that look to update the ideas touched upon in the first film to remakes that spin the story in a wildly different direction, the best film remakes have true vision and something to actually say, not just a recognizable name to play off of in order to turn a profit.

Have your own favorite movie remakes? Say yours in the comments below!

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Greatest Fictional Weapons: 10 Badass Suits of Armor

Some weapons become more iconic than the fictional characters that use them. Others are a vital aspect of a character’s personality. In this column, we take a look at some of the greatest fictional weapons of all time.

Not every hero relies on a gun, sword, spaceship, or car. Some heroes throughout decades of movies, novels, television, video games, and comic books get all four in one exoskeleton that gives him or her the power to fight evil (and sometimes good) in all shapes and sizes. With the right set of powers and the right design, a suit of armor can go from plot device to beloved fictional weapon in the span of a single story.

Sometimes, a suit of armor will be used on a special occasion by a hero in the direst of circumstances. In other cases, a hero and his or her armor are synonymous to fans. Whether they have been featured in countless stories or only in select tales, great pieces of armor have a thrilling and captivating quality that sparks the imaginations of fans, no matter how often they have been seen.

The following 10 suits of armor range from minimally protective coverings to some of the most powerful pieces of weaponry ever seen in fiction. In any case, they are some of the most iconic and badass weapons to ever grace the screen or page.

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