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In honor of SeptBender, David Faustino recently chatted with Hypable about his role as the brave, romantically-challenged, and divisive firebender Mako on The Legend of Korra.

David Faustino is currently staring as Mako on Nickelodeon’s The Legend of Korra. David also appears on the Netflix comedy Bad Samaritans and, as a hip-hop enthusiast, runs a record label Old Scratch Records. Follow him on Twitter as @DavidFaustino.

Hypable chats with David Faustino

Hypable: Were you familiar with Avatar: The Last Airbender before you auditioned for The Legend of Korra?

David Faustino: I had heard about it, obviously, through that film that was out. I never was a big cartoon guy, when I was a little kid I was, but [I’ve] never really been a big sci-fi fan… I just heard about it peripherally, and then I knew it had a big following and then I saw the role and it looked cool.

And then I read the script, you know, I read some of the material and that’s when I thought, “Oh, okay, well this is more than just a cartoon.” It’s this well-written, really cool artistic piece, that’s very cool.

Do you have a favorite moment from the first season of The Legend of Korra?

I really like the moment where… Korra and I are separated… It was us thinking to each other and talking out loud, and then it cut to me, and her over there doing her thing. It was just a really quiet, interesting, kind of deep moment. I really liked it.

Mako is a little bit controversial because of some of his girl issues. How do you approach that from an acting standpoint?

Well, it’s interesting because I didn’t realize how invested the fans were. I had a lot of fangirls very upset at me, and I didn’t expect that at all. To see people on Twitter and other social networking sites angry with the Mako character – and they were able to separate me from the character, but they still couldn’t help themselves to let me know that they didn’t like Mako… It didn’t really bother me, it was just interesting and surprising to me.

Really for me, it’s all about the writing. The two guys and the whole writing staff really, but Bryan and Mike are just genius writers and they make it so easy for us. [Mako is] a complex character who’s got a lot of issues, and I can relate to that, no question. I have my own issues with girls and dates and all that scary stuff, so it just again comes down to well-written and complex character. And that makes my job really easy because it’s all there on the page.

David Faustino

Is there anything you specifically admire about Mako?

Yeah, I do. I admire his desire to stand up for what he believes is right. Yeah, [Mako] has his issues with commitment and has his issues with the ladies, but I believe he loves Korra and would stand up and protect her to the death. I respect his courage and bravery in situations of danger, when it comes to protecting his loved ones.

And if you could give him a piece of advice, what would it be?

Maybe, be able to laugh a little bit more. He can be pretty heavy and pretty intense a lot of the time. Unlike Bolin, who’s sort of a joker and very light-hearted all the time – maybe to a fault. It’d be nice if maybe Mako could have a little more balance and kind of ‘let go and let life’ a little bit more sometimes.

If you could be a bender, what kind of bender would you be?

Oh… moneybender! I’d be a moneybender. Yeah, bend money at my will!

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Sometimes “less is more,” and sometimes “three’s a crowd.” When you’re talking Captain America: Civil War, the phrase you’re looking for is, “the more the merrier.”

The first Avengers movie shocked us with a team-up film that worked in ways we hadn’t thought possible before. It just hadn’t really been done, and we were all surprised that it worked as well as it did. In Captain America: Civil War, The Russo Brothers trump The Avengers without even trying. They aren’t telling a team-up story, they are telling us a story about friends that don’t agree. It just so happens that their disagreement gives us one of the best Marvel movies to date. Without even trying, they raise the bar the Avengers set in more ways than one, presenting us with not one team, but two.

Like any film, Captain America: Civil War has its weaknesses. No movie is perfect, even if this one does seem damn close. Our Civil War review dives into all of it.

Strengths

First Impressions

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Prior to the film opening, one of the fandom’s biggest concerns regarding Captain America: Civil War was the never-ending list of characters that would be making appearances in this movie. Not only is the crazy number of superheroes present for this civil war not a hindrance, it’s one of the movie’s greatest strengths. Seeing Ant-Man and Spider-Man battling alongside Avengers we’ve loved from the beginning is one of the highlights of the film, not to mention the insane joy you feel watching the quippiest fight scene in the history of cinema. Listening to our brand new Peter Parker (Tom Holland) deliver line after snarky line while handling whatever is thrown his way is better than any moment in any previous Spider-Man movie.

Civil War delivers on every promise made in the dozen or so previews we’ve anxiously watched over the last year. The stakes were high, expectations were even higher, but Captain America: Civil War exceeds both.

A Few Fresh Faces

In addition to handling the sheer force of this gaggle of superheroes, Captain America: Civil War introduces us to two new characters that we’ll be seeing solo films from in the near future. Introducing them in a film as large and unwieldy as this one is a definite risk, but it pays off in spades. We couldn’t be more excited to see where their individual films will take these two new shining stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Spider-Man

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Spider-Man was beginning to feel like the third rail of comic book heroes. Despite being a thoroughly entertaining and engaging character, Peter Parker’s story was starting to feel dull and lifeless on screen. Maybe it was because we had been treated to his origins in two different incarnations a mere 10 years apart, but his introduction in Captain America: Civil War is anything but dull. His quirky sense of humor plays nicely off Tony’s snarky wit, and we were instantly charmed by his innocent and silly nature. Next year’s Spiderman: Homecoming will be a welcome addition to the MCU now that we’ve met and fallen for the newest incarnation of the wily webslinger.

Black Panther

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If you walk away from Captain America: Civil War without any Black Panther feelings, we’re not sure we want to know you. All the marketing regarding this character set him up to be a worthy Team Tony member, sporting a suit made of the most durable substance on the planet. We didn’t intend to find out that behind his badass black armor was a man dedicated to his people as well as his family. Seeing the birth of this character within the confines of Civil War allows even the most casual of comic book fans to fall in love with this powerhouse. The Black Panther movie will be released in 2018.

A touch of comedy

Putting aside the team-up aspects of this film, some of the most deliciously entertaining moments are when Falcon and Bucky are forced to share space. Seeing Cap’s two greatest allies bicker like school children is both delightfully unexpected and unexpectedly delightful. We can’t wait to see what the Russos have brewing for the next time we see Cap’s squad in action.

Also, the subtle flair and dry wit of Scott Lang is a perfect fit for the role that Ant-Man played in this movie. The character brought so much to the story as well as the entertainment factor. We would happily sign a petition to keep him involved in all things Marvel and Avengers from here on out.

Weaknesses

Let there be a villain

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While Captain America: Civil War has so much going for it, there are a few things that don’t work as well as we would have liked. First and foremost would be the villain, Zemo. Yes, that’s right, the feuding inside the Avengers ranks may pit one side against the other, but no one is truly right or wrong. This movie needed an external villain to focus on after all the infighting was done. The story couldn’t be over until some threat was vanquished, or at least put away with no hope of escape. Zemo is played well by Daniel Brühl, but the character himself is lacking.

Zemo’s story just isn’t the main player in this one. He masters the art of distraction, and uses it to keep all the heroes busy while he furthers his own agenda. Zemo is a fine foil for the ultimate showdown, but he just isn’t as dynamic or interesting as Marvel villains have been of late.

A few missing players

The roster for this movie is massive, and they didn’t really need to add anyone, but it is a little sad to see this group minus two of its biggest personalities. Thor and Hulk do not make an appearance in Captain America: Civil War, and while their absences are easy to explain, it would have been fascinating to see where they stood on the battle lines. Hopefully we will learn all about their thoughts on the Sokovia Accords when they’re back for Infinity War, but until then, we’ll just keep theorizing and postulating endlessly, as any good fan does.

Too many subplots

The only true criticism we have regarding the inclusion of so many characters is that it forces the film to spend time giving each and every one of them motivation and time to share their thoughts on the matter. We had subplots for Wanda and Vision, Sharon Carter, Spider-Man, and Black Panther, to name a few. Those subplots always course-correct back to the central theme, but taking the time to develop all those characters detracts from time they could have spent on the film’s focus: Cap and Tony.

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Ultimately…

Everything we wanted it to be

Civil War does not disappoint. We wanted it to be a Captain America movie, and we got that. We wanted it to show both sides of the accountability debate, and we got that. We wanted to be able to see things from Cap’s perspective, but not be completely alienated from Tony Stark, the man whose movie started this whole amazing journey into the MCU — and we got that.

Captain America: Civil War tells the story that we needed to see. We needed to see that Cap and his friends are not wrong for wanting to continue to live and fight freely as they have been from the start. We needed to know that Tony saw Cap’s perspective while vehemently disagreeing and needing the accountability that the Accords provide for himself. While the Civil War raged, we knew that this wasn’t about either side winning.

Captain America: Civil War is about both sides seeing heroism in their own way and realizing that disagreeing isn’t the be-all and end-all.

It’s also important to note that while nobody loses this Civil War, nobody wins either. Neither side comes through completely unscathed, and some scars are more than just superficial. There’s a lot left unsaid, and more than a few non-physical wounds that’ll need time to heal. Both sides have a long road to travel before our heroes can walk the same path again, and hopefully the films we will see between now and Avengers: Infinity War – Part I will show progress toward that cause.

A few stray thoughts

  • It wouldn’t have been a Captain America movie without Peggy Carter, and she impacts this story in a way we didn’t expect.
  • Who knew a string of random words could elicit such horror?
  • We could definitely watch a feature length version of that Scarlet Witch vs. Vision battle.
  • We are more invested in Rhodey’s future than we ever thought possible.
  • We can’t help but wonder how Vision’s part in this war will affect him going forward.

What did you think of ‘Captain America: Civil War’?

Hit the comments and vote in our poll to discuss!

New ‘Power Rangers’ movie costumes revealed

The suits for the ladies are... questionable.

12:30 pm EDT, May 5, 2016

Can we morph into a world where female super heroes don’t have to wear high heels?

EW.com has exclusively revealed the first look at what the new Power Rangers costumes will look like when they hit the big screen next year. Check them out below.

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The new suits are explained as “alien” according to costumer designer Andrew Menzies. “It’s tricky finding a new language for a superhero costume. Ours is an alien costume that grows on them, that’s not man-made. You can’t win everyone over, but we are trying to appeal to a more mature audience and gain new fans.”

Noticeably in the picture, both the Pink Ranger and the Yellow Ranger’s costumes feature full busts and even wedge heels. Haven’t we learned anything about last year’s Jurassic World protests!?

This photo comes after the previously released photo of Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa which also featured a brand new look.

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What are your thoughts about the new Power Rangers suits? Should they have stuck a little closer to the original concept from the hit ’90s TV show?

Power Rangers hits theaters March 24, 2017. The cast includes Becky G as Yellow Ranger Trini, Ludi Lin as Black Ranger Zack, Dacre Montgomery as Red Ranger Jason, Naomi Scott as Pink Ranger Kimberly, and RJ Cyler as Blue Ranger Billy.

Veronica Roth’s upcoming science fiction novel is titled Carve the Mark, and hits store shelves on January 17, 2017.

An official website (complete with a countdown clock!) launched Thursday morning. It reveals the cover (above) and synopsis for Carve the Mark, which will apparently appeal to “fans of Star Wars and Divergent.”

The cover is interesting, as it appears to show cuts made in stone, with something like gold seeping out of the openings. “Honor has no place in survival,” the book’s tagline reads.

Here’s the full synopsis:

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive — no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.

Intriguing! I’m liking the sound of these currentgifts and their influence on this science fiction world.

Previous reports have described Carve the Mark as the first part in a duology, with part 2 getting a release in 2018.

This will be the first book published since Roth wrapped up the Divergent Series. Although Allegiant was released in 2013, a book with short stories about Four arrived the following summer.

You can pre-order Carve the Mark here. Do you think you’ll be reading it?