Some of the World War II German uniforms in 1/6th scale, all thanks to Dragon Models Limited

Important Note: These products are for military collectors and historic education purposes only, and they are not intended to glorify nor exploit the horrors and atrocities of war.

The Axis Powers is a term for those participants in World War II opposed to the Allies. The three major Axis powers, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and the Japanese empire, referred to themselves as the “Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis.” The Axis powers ruled empires that dominated large portions of Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, but they were ultimately defeated at the end of World War II.

The Wehrmacht (lit. “defence force”) was the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1946. It consisted of the Heer (army), the Kriegsmarine (navy) and the Luftwaffe (air force). The Wehrmacht formed the heart of Germany’s politico-military power. In the early part of World War II, Hitler’s generals employed the Wehrmacht through innovative combined arms tactics (close cover air-support, mechanized armor, and infantry) to devastating effect in what was called a Blitzkrieg (lightning war). The Wehrmacht’s new military structure, unique combat techniques, newly developed weapons, and unprecedented speed and brutality crushed their opponents. By the time the war ended in Europe in May 1945, the Wehrmacht had lost approximately 11,300,000 men, about half of which were killed in action.

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IMHO The German military uniforms of World War II were most impressive and appear to be the best among all the armies. They were the best looking uniforms (the sharpest) and the German leaders seem to understand the value of branding and propaganda – the Nazi party spared no expense in looking good while doing bad.

While cleaning the display shelves for my 12-inch figures, I always try to take group pictures of my collection when they are out of their glass prison. Other group pics taken before include: “SEAL Team 6: The Ones Resonsible For Osama Bin Laden’s Demise” posted on my toy blog HERE; “October 7 – The Day the War in Afghanistan Began with U.S. Special Forces leading the way” HERE; “1/6th scale World War II Allied Forces Pilots and Air Crewman 12-inch action figures gathered” HERE; “1/6 scale SAS CRW 12-inch figures released by BBI, Dragon Models, MC Toys, Medicom, Palitoy” HERE; and “Just some random Hot Toys Iron Man and War Machine / Iron Patriot pictures from my collection” HERE.

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Italien verschärft die Impfpflicht

Schon bisher gab es in Italien Pflichtimpfungen. Diese sollen nun aber auf 12 Krankheiten ausgedehnt werden. Der Besuch von Kindergärten ist künftig an den Impfnachweis gebunden. Mehr als 800.000 Schüler sind von Zwangsimpfungen bedroht. Wer sich nicht an die Beschlüsse hält soll bis zu 7.500 Euro Strafe bezahlen. Der Widerstand gegen diese Gesetzesinitiative wächst in Italien. Besonders in Südtirol ist der Unmut enorm. Die Rede ist von einem “neuen Impffaschismus” und dem “Sieg der Pharmalobby”.

Bevor solche Zwangsmaßnahmen durchgesetzt werden, hätte ein verantwortungsvoller Gesetzgeber auf seriöser Basis sicher stellen müssen, dass derartige Maßnahmen den Kindern nützen und sie nicht in ihrer Gesundheit gefährden. Die “Impfungen” gibt es – so generell gesprochen – nicht. Jede einzelne Impfung hat ihre eigene Geschichte, ihre Vorteile und ihre Nachteile. Und dass die Vorteile überwiegen, ist bei einer Reihe von Impfungen nicht garantiert.

Wissenslücken gibt es genug, hier ein paar Beispiele:

  • Es gibt keine guten Vergleichsstudien Geimpfte/Ungeimpfte 
  • Es gibt keine verlässlichen Informationen darüber, wie lange die toxischen Aluminiumverbindungen aus den Impfungen im Körper bleiben und was sie dort tun 
  • Es gibt zahlreiche Hinweise, dass Impfungen Störungen des Immunsystems auslösen und die Bildung von Auto-Antikörpern anregen 
  • Ob es spezielle Risikogruppen (z.B. genetische Voraussetzungen) gibt, Menschen, die besonders anfällig sind für Immunstörungen – und wie man diese vorab identifizieren könnte – ist unbekannt 
  • Bei Impfungen gibt es kaum Innovationen und keinen Druck hin zu mehr Sicherheit, weil ein paar Großkonzerne “unter sich” sind und von der Gesundheitspolitik, bzw. den Behörden vor Klagen bei Schäden geschützt werden 
  • Es gibt bei vielen Impfstoffen keine Auswahlmöglichkeit, keine Alternativen – z.B. Impfstoffe, die man inhalieren kann, Impfstoffe ohne Aluminium, ohne Hühnereiweiß, etc. 

Anstatt dafür einzutreten, diese Mängel zu beheben und viele andere Fragen zur Funktionsweise und Sicherheit von Impfungen objektiv durch gute Studien aufzuklären, werden Nichtimpfer mit Strafen bedroht.
Bei der Clique der fanatischen Impfbefürworter, die in Kritikern dumme Verschwörungstheoretiker sehen, deren Kinder als Bioterroristen herumlaufen und die eigenen Kinder gefährden, handelt es sich zumeist um Menschen, die mit Freude im Lager des Mainstream der Gesellschaft schwimmen und allen misstrauen, die gegen den Strom schwimmen.
Die fachliche Materie begreifen sie nur sehr oberflächlich. Doch das müssen sie auch nicht. Schließlich gibt es Mechaniker für die Autos, Mediziner für die Medizin und Laien, die sich besser an die Empfehlungen der Profis halten.
Dass es sich beim Impfwesen um eine ganz spezielle Blase der Medizin handelt, wo wissenschaftliche Regeln vielfach außer Kraft gesetzt werden, verstehen sie nicht – und wollen es auch nicht verstehen:

Dass beispielsweise…

  • in der Kontrollgruppe so gut wie nie eine neutrale Placebogruppe verwendet und meist eine neue Impfung gegen eine alte getestet wird. Auch wenn es sich dabei um vollständig unterschiedliche Krankheiten handelt, vor denen die Impfung schützen soll. 
  • Dies gilt sogar bei neuen Impfungen, wo nicht damit argumentiert werden kann, dass es “ethisch unverantwortlich” wäre, die Kontrollgruppe nicht zu impfen. Auch hier gibt es keine Vergleichsstudien Geimpfter vs. Ungeimpfter. 
  • Bei Impfstudien wird meist nicht die tatsächliche Wirksamkeit einer Impfung geprüft – also z.B. die Fähigkeit einer Diphtherie-Impfung die Diphtherie zu verhindern – sondern es werden vorwiegend so genannte Surrogat-Parameter erhoben. Meist handelt es sich dabei um Antikörper-Titer. Diese haben jedoch – wie sich bei der Analyse von Ausbrüchen zeigte – eine nur sehr beschränkte Aussagekraft. Impfexperten der STIKO raten von eigenständig durchgeführten Titertests – um den aufrechten Impfschutz zu kontrollieren – sogar dezidiert ab. 

Kontrollverlust
Ein weiterer für viele Impfbefürworter schwer verständlicher Fakt: Die Gesundheits-Behörden sind mit der Kontrolle der Sicherheit von Impfungen überfordert. Sie erfüllen ihre Funktion unzureichend und “auf mindestens einem Auge blind”, weil sie seit vielen Jahren Impfpläne erstellen, Impfungen empfehlen oder sogar gesetzlich vorschreiben. Deshalb wären sie – in ihrem Selbstbild – ebenso für Schäden verantwortlich wie die Hersteller.
Sie müssen sich demnach selbst kontrollieren. Eine Aufgabe, der niemand ausgesetzt werden sollte, weil diese Aufgabe nicht zu erfüllen ist.
Das heißt, in der Realität wird die Sicherheit der Impfungen von den Herstellern kontrolliert und von den Behörden großteils durchgewinkt.
Gäbe es strenge Wirksamkeits- und Sicherheitskontrollen, so wären manche Impfungen nie zugelassen worden. Viele wären nicht mehr am Markt – oder würden vorübergehend vom Markt genommen bis die Auflagen zum Nachweis der Sicherheit und Wirksamkeit vollständig erfüllt worden sind.
In der Realität funktioniert es genau umgekehrt: Da werden strenge Studiendesigns und Kontrollen von den Behörden, den Ethik-Kommissionen und den Impfexperten zurück gewiesen und entrüstet verweigert. Obwohl wir aus Steuermitteln jährlich Milliarden für Impfungen ausgeben, werden die wenigen Millionen nicht investiert, die für eine unabhängige Kontrolle der Sicherheit und Wirksamkeit dieser Impfungen nötig wären.

Massen-Medikation

Impfungen sind der weltweit intensivste pharmazeutische Massen-Eingriff in das Immunsystem gesunder Menschen. Neugeborene, deren Immunsystem noch nicht im entferntesten ausgereift ist, werden ebenso geimpft wie ältere Menschen, deren Immunsystem nach ganz anderen Kriterien funktioniert. Egal. Meist gibt es eine Impfung für alle Altersgruppen. Auch die Dosis unterscheidet sich nur unwesentlich. Frühgeborene mit 1 Kilogramm werden genau gleich geimpft wie Säuglinge mit dem fünffachen Gewicht.

Heute leidet bereits ein Drittel der Kinder und Jugendlichen an Allergien, Autoimmunerkrankungen und Entwicklungsstörungen. Niemand weiß die genauen Ursachen.

Wenn auch nur ein Teil dieser Fälle von Impfungen ausgelöst wird, dann bedeutet das, dass die Solidargemeinschaft mit Milliarden Euro belastet und bei hunderttausenden Menschen die Lebensqualität geschädigt oder sogar vernichtet wird.

Es ist offensichtlich, dass es sich bei der Anerkennung dieser Fakten, die ich hier aufgelistet habe, um eine Minderheitenposition handelt.
Die Mehrheit der “Impfexperten” sieht keinerlei Probleme und weigert sich standhaft in ihrem Lieblingsfach wissenschaftliche Kriterien anzuwenden.
Falls doch einmal Probleme auftreten sollten, heißt es, “müssen diese hinter verschlossenen Türen im Kreise von Impfexperten intern diskutiert werden”. Eine offen Diskussion wäre kontraproduktiv, denn “das wäre Wasser auf die Mühlen der Impfgegner und würde die Impffreudigkeit der Bevölkerung gefährden”.

Die meisten der extremen Impfbefürworter bekommen von solchen Vorbehalten der Behörden ohnedies nichts mit. Impfungen sind für sie unanfechtbar, der Gipfel der medizinischen Kunst, eine Gesundheitsversicherung an die sie ganz fest glauben.
Obwohl sie beim Impfen eine in Wahrheit recht esoterische Haltung einnehmen, bezeichnen sie sich dennoch als “Skeptiker” und halten sich für extrem wissenschafts-affin.
Ob es sich dabei um eine Art Schizophrenie handelt, um Intelligenz-Defizite oder den Zwang zur Anpassung an gesellschaftliche Normen ist nicht ganz klar.
Jedenfalls handelt es sich um Extremisten. Und in Italien sind diese Extremisten offenbar besonders aggressiv und mehrheitsfähig.

Unter derartigen Voraussetzungen sind es nicht die Impfverweigerer, die unverantwortlich handeln indem sie Gesetzesbruch begehen, sondern es gilt das Gegenteil:
Jene Eltern verhalten sich verantwortungsvoll, die unter derartigen Voraussetzungen dem Druck standhalten und einzelne Impfungen zum Wohl der Gesundheit ihrer Kinder verweigern.


Wenn Ihnen der Artikel interessant und wichtig erscheint, würde

ich mich über einen kleinen Beitrag zu meiner Arbeit sehr freuen. 
Bert Ehgartner steht auch für Vorträge, Filmvorführungen, etc. zur Verfügung. 
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Square Enix Play Arts Kai DC Comics Variant Weirdest JOKER designed by Tetsuya Nomura

The reimagined Batman archenemy Joker figure pictured below is designed by Square Enix’s famed character designer Tetsuya Nomura who is best known for his work on the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts series (he’s currently directing both Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy VII Remake).

The Square Enix Play Arts Kai DC Comics Variant JOKER figure stands 285 mm tall (about 11 inches) and offers quite a bit of customization. The figure comes with seven different facial options, with different faces and masks available to switch the look of Joker. There are are also different hand options and a set of machine-like arms / exoskeleton / wheelchair that appear to be quite flexible in terms of how they can be used. Nomura’s unique take on the Clown Prince of Crime is part of Square Enix’s DC Universe Variant Play Arts Kai line

It appears Nomura had a wide range of ideas in mind for the Joker. As such, the figure includes no less than seven interchangeable head options, including a fairly traditional Joker face, one that seems ripped from a Final Fantasy game and another that looks frighteningly demonic. There are other headwear options as well, including a red hood and an ornate harlequin mask.

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Square Enix’s Play Arts Kai the Joker by Tetsuya Nomura will ship in Japan this September. The figure is listed at 32,184 yen on retailers like Amazon Japan and AmiAmi, which works out to about US$290. It is also listed at SG$360 (discounted to SGD325 at TFH). That’s a lot of moolah for this type of action figure, and it’s not even a high end high quality Hot Toys collectible figure.

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Pre-order Sideshow Collectibles Marvel Comics 1/6th scale Thor Odinson 12" collectible figure

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“I say thee nay!”

Thor. God of Thunder. Son of Odin. Prince of Asgard. Worthy.

He goes by many names, but all know him by his mighty hammer. After being disgraced and cast out of Asgard as the human doctor Donald Blake, the heroic Thor finds himself once again worthy to wield the power of the storm with his mystical weapon Mjolnir, which bears the inscription, “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor”.

Few others have been worthy of the might of Thor before now. Our newest sixth scale figure brings the thunder to your collection with Thor Odinson in all of his Asgardian glory. Wearing his famous silver helmet with feathered wings, Thor is ready to launch into battle by taking flight with his hammer. Godly golden locks complete his classic portrait as he prepares to summon the thunder.

This figure comes garbed in a carefully tailored fabric tunic and pants just like Thor’s Viking leathers. He has sculpted gauntlets on his arms, and sturdy boots to designed to capture the classic look of his Asgardian armor. Thor’s mighty red cape flows behind him and comes with a removable faux-fur collar to make him appear extra godlike in detailed 12-inch stature.

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Sideshow Collectibles Marvel Comics Thor Sixth Scale Figure specially features: detailed portrait with metal-like helmet featuring classic wings | Three (3) pairs of hands including: pair of relaxed hands, pair of fists, pair of grip hands | Thor’s Hammer (Mjolnir, with the text “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor” | Tailored fabric costume with leather-like tunic, pants and cape with removable faux-fur collar | One (1) pair of gauntlets | One (1) pair of boots. Exclusive accessory: sixth scale Thor Frog

And of course, Thor has Mjolnir complete with its inscription and comes with three pairs of both casual and action pose hands for a variety of powerful poses. Swing the hammer down with the God of Thunder in one-sixth scale.
The Sideshow exclusive version includes a sixth scale sculpt of the Thor Frog, from when mischievous Loki played a mighty trick on his brother!

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Related posts:
Action Figure Review of Hot Toys MMS306 Avengers: Age of Ultron 1/6th scale Chris Hemsworth as Thor Collectible Figure posted on my toy blog HERE and HERE
T is also for THOR – god of thunder. Review of Toy Biz released “Famous Covers” THOR 9-inch action figure HERE and HERE

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The Machine Intelligence Behind Gboard

Posted by Françoise Beaufays, Principal Scientist, Speech and Keyboard Team and Michael Riley, Principal Scientist, Speech and Languages Algorithms Team

Most people spend a significant amount of time each day using mobile-device keyboards: composing emails, texting, engaging in social media, and more. Yet, mobile keyboards are still cumbersome to handle. The average user is roughly 35% slower typing on a mobile device than on a physical keyboard. To change that, we recently provided many exciting improvements to Gboard for Android, working towards our vision of creating an intelligent mechanism that enables faster input while offering suggestions and correcting mistakes, in any language you choose.

With the realization that the way a mobile keyboard translates touch inputs into text is similar to how a speech recognition system translates voice inputs into text, we leveraged our experience in Speech Recognition to pursue our vision. First, we created robust spatial models that map fuzzy sequences of raw touch points to keys on the keyboard, just like acoustic models map sequences of sound bites to phonetic units. Second, we built a powerful core decoding engine based on finite state transducers (FST) to determine the likeliest word sequence given an input touch sequence. With its mathematical formalism and broad success in speech applications, we knew that an FST decoder would offer the flexibility needed to support a variety of complex keyboard input behaviors as well as language features. In this post, we will detail what went into the development of both of these systems.

Neural Spatial Models
Mobile keyboard input is subject to errors that are generally attributed to “fat finger typing” (or tracing spatially similar words in glide typing, as illustrated below) along with cognitive and motor errors (manifesting in misspellings, character insertions, deletions or swaps, etc). An intelligent keyboard needs to be able to account for these errors and predict the intended words rapidly and accurately. As such, we built a spatial model for Gboard that addresses these errors at the character level, mapping the touch points on the screen to actual keys.

Average glide trails for two spatially-similar words: “Vampire” and “Value”.

Up to recently, Gboard used a Gaussian model to quantify the probability of tapping neighboring keys and a rule-based model to represent cognitive and motor errors. These models were simple and intuitive, but they didn’t allow us to directly optimize metrics that correlate with better typing quality. Drawing on our experience with Voice Search acoustic models we replaced both the Gaussian and rule-based models with a single, highly efficient long short-term memory (LSTM) model trained with a connectionist temporal classification (CTC) criterion.

However, training this model turned out to be a lot more complicated than we had anticipated. While acoustic models are trained from human-transcribed audio data, one cannot easily transcribe millions of touch point sequences and glide traces. So the team exploited user-interaction signals, e.g. reverted auto-corrections and suggestion picks as negative and positive semi-supervised learning signals, to form rich training and test sets.

Raw data points corresponding to the word “could” (left), and normalized sampled trajectory with per-sample variances (right).

A plethora of techniques from the speech recognition literature was used to iterate on the NSM models to make them small and fast enough to be run on any device. The TensorFlow infrastructure was used to train hundreds of models, optimizing various signals surfaced by the keyboard: completions, suggestions, gliding, etc. After more than a year of work, the resulting models were about 6 times faster and 10 times smaller than the initial versions, they also showed about 15% reduction in bad autocorrects and 10% reduction in wrongly decoded gestures on offline datasets.

Finite-State Transducers
While the NSM uses spatial information to help determine what was tapped or swiped, there are additional constraints — lexical and grammatical — that can be brought to bear. A lexicon tells us what words occur in a language and a probabilistic grammar tells us what words are likely to follow other words. To encode this information we use finite-state transducers. FSTs have long been a key component of Google’s speech recognition and synthesis systems. They provide a principled way to represent various probabilistic models (lexicons, grammars, normalizers, etc) used in natural language processing together with the mathematical framework needed to manipulate, optimize, combine and search the models*.

In Gboard, a key-to-word transducer compactly represents the keyboard lexicon as shown in the figure below. It encodes the mapping from key sequences to words, allowing for alternative key sequences and optional spaces.

This transducer encodes “I”, “I’ve”, “If” along paths from the start state (the bold circle 1) to final states (the double circle states 0 and 1). Each arc is labeled with an input key (before the “:”) and a corresponding output word (after the “:”) where ε encodes the empty symbol. The apostrophe in “I’ve” can be omitted. The user may skip the space bar sometimes. To account for that, the space key transition between words in the transducer is optional. The ε and space back arcs allow accepting more than one word.

A probabilistic n-gram transducer is used to represent the language model for the keyboard. A state in the model represents an (up to) n-1 word context and an arc leaving that state is labeled with a successor word together with its probability of following that context (estimated from textual data). These, together with the spatial model that gives the likelihoods of sequences of key touches (discrete tap entries or continuous gestures in glide typing), are combined and explored with a beam search.

Generic FST principles, such as streaming, support for dynamic models, etc took us a long way towards building a new keyboard decoder, but several new functionalities also had to be added. When you speak, you don’t need the decoder to complete your words or guess what you will say next to save you a few syllables; but when you type, you appreciate the help of word completions and predictions. Also, we wanted the keyboard to provide seamless multilingual support, as shown below.

Trilingual input typing in Gboard.

It was a complex effort to get our new decoder off the ground, but the principled nature of FSTs has many benefits. For example, supporting transliterations for languages like Hindi is just a simple extension of the generic decoder.

Transliteration Models
In many languages with complex scripts, romanization systems have been developed to map characters into the Latin alphabet, often according to their phonetic pronunciations. For example, the Pinyin “xièxiè” corresponds to the Chinese characters “谢谢” (“thank you”). A Pinyin keyboard allows users to conveniently type words on a QWERTY layout and have them automatically “translated” into the target script. Likewise, a transliterated Hindi keyboard allows users to type “daanth” for “दांत” (teeth). Whereas Pinyin is an agreed-upon romanization system, Hindi transliterations are more fuzzy; for example “daant” would be a valid alternative for “दांत”.

Transliterated glide input for Hindi.

Just as we have a transducer mapping from letter sequences to words (a lexicon) and a weighted language model automaton providing probabilities for word sequences, we built weighted transducer mappings between Latin key sequences and target script symbol sequences for 22 Indic languages. Some languages have multiple writing systems (Bodo for example can be written in the Bengali or Devanagari scripts) so between transliterated and native layouts, we built 57 new input methods in just a few months.

The general nature of the FST decoder let us leverage all the work we had done to support completions, predictions, glide typing and many UI features with no extra effort, allowing us to offer a rich experience to our Indian users right from the start.

A More Intelligent Keyboard
All in all, our recent work cut the decoding latency by 50%, reduced the fraction of words users have to manually correct by more than 10%, allowed us to launch transliteration support for the 22 official languages of India, and enabled many new features you may have noticed.

While we hope that these recent changes improve your typing experience, we recognize that on-device typing is by no means solved. Gboard can still make suggestions that seem nonintuitive or of low utility and gestures can still be decoded to words a human would never pick. However, our shift towards powerful machine intelligence algorithms has opened new spaces that we’re actively exploring to make more useful tools and products for our users worldwide.

Acknowledgments
This work was done by Cyril Allauzen, Ouais Alsharif, Lars Hellsten, Tom Ouyang, Brian Roark and David Rybach, with help from Speech Data Operation team. Special thanks go to Johan Schalkwyk and Corinna Cortes for their support.


* The toolbox of relevant algorithms is available in the OpenFst open-source library.

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JUSTICE LEAGUE Movie Costumes On Display

Justice League is an upcoming American superhero film based on the DC Comics superhero team of the same name, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is intended to be the fifth installment in the DC Extended Universe. The film is directed by Zack Snyder, with a screenplay by Chris Terrio, from a story by Snyder and Terrio, and features an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Willem Dafoe, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen and J. K. Simmons. In Justice League, Batman and Wonder Woman assemble a team consisting of Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg to face the catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons.

The costumes worn by the World’s Greatest Superheroes in the upcoming Justice League movie were put on display at The Las Vegas Licensing Expo this week. New costumes only means new 1/6th scale figures by Hot Toys to be added to the collection. Let’s take a look at the pics.

Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne / Batman: The benefactor of the group of metahumans who is also a billionaire socialite and CEO of Wayne Enterprises who dedicates himself to protecting Gotham City from its criminal underworld as a highly trained, masked vigilante equipped with many powerful tools and weapons.

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Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman: An antiquities dealer and acquaintance of Wayne who is actually a 5,000 year-old immortal Amazonian warrior princess and daughter of Zeus, who possesses superhuman attributes and abilities inherited from her parents.

Ezra Miller as Barry Allen / Flash: A Central City police forensic investigator who can move at superhuman speeds, with his ability to tap into the Speed Force.

Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry / Aquaman: The king of the undersea nation of Atlantis, whose metahuman aquatic abilities and superhuman physical attributes originate from his Atlantean physiology.

Ray Fisher as Victor Stone / Cyborg: A former college athlete who, after being cybernetically reconstructed with a Mother Box after a nearly fatal accident, has powers that allow him to manipulate technology and to turn his arms to cannons. Fisher portrays the character through the assistance of motion capture performance, for the cybernetic portion of his body.

Quite sure that Henry Cavill as Kal-El / Clark Kent / Superman will turn up at the critical moment ;p

Justice League movie opens in theaters 11/17/17

Related posts:
Comparison Pictures of Marvel Movie Super heroes and Villains vs Marvel Comics Characters posted on my toy blog HERE
Check out “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” costumes display at Star Wars Celebration 2016 (pics HERE)
Fashion Heroes – The Costume is a Superhero’s Most Defining Characteristic and Stuck for Life posted HERE

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi on Four Exclusive Vanity Fair Covers – Special Anniversary Edition

Full coverage on Vanity Fair (link HERE)

Today, Vanity Fair debuts the cast of The Last Jedi, on four different covers, marking the first time they’ve released alternate Star Wars covers.

The first cover features at least one Jedi—who may or may not be the last. Annie Leibovitz captured Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill on the blustery cliff on the planet Ahch-To (on location in Ireland) where Luke Skywalker was last seen with Ridley’s Rey. Ridley stares down the camera and into the future of the galaxy.

Daisy Ridley as Resistance warrior Rey and Mark Hamill as mentor Luke Skywalker, on location in Ireland. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.

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The three First Order heavies—Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie), General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson), and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver)—on display here are looking a little worse for wear following the events of The Force Awakens. The new portrait offers fans a first look at Christie in character with her helmet off. Driver tells Kamp in our cover story that Kylo Ren’s wounds go much deeper than the fearsome new scar on his face. If history is any indication, the second installment of the trilogy will be the dark side’s time to shine. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.

Fan favorite intergalactic flyboy pin-up, Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), is on the third cover, with friends Finn (John Boyega) and the droid BB-8 (as himself). Boyega, healthy and ready for action, is looking much better here than in his comatose state at the conclusion of The Force Awakens. There are some hints about his Last Jedi escapades in our cover story. He’s joined both on those adventures and in this portrait by Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran)—a Resistance maintenance worker and the new character with the most screen time in Episode VIII. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.

No reflection on the franchise’s four decades would be complete without a tribute to Carrie Fisher, who died in December 2016. This final cover features only her character, Leia — the general, princess, and rebel who has been a figure central to the Star Wars universe from the very outset. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.

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