Underdogs through History

by by David Adler, Gillian Brassil & Erik Font

illustration by by Becca Levinson

Sidney Prescott 

(Neve Campbell) in Scream, Scream 2 and Scream 3.
Neve was already in a bad mood when she went to high school one day and found out her best friend Drew Barrymore had been killed. The killer, a masked ghoul with a nasty knife and a nastier tongue, was still on the loose. Alone at home, Neve receives an eerie phone call before being ruthlessly attacked by the ghostface killer and barely escaping with her life. Soon, the bodies of her friends—including the seemingly immortal Henry Winkler, aka the Fonz—turn up everywhere. In the end (SPOILER ALERT) Neve discovers that the killer is actually two people, weirdo Matthew Lilard and hottie Skeet Ulrich, whom she just lost her virginity to. With a lil’ luck and a lotta gut, Neve smashes a TV on one murderer and shoots her (now ex-) boyfriend in the head. As if high school hadn’t been hard enough, a year later Neve would have to battle more psychotic killers in college during Scream 2. Four years later, more killers would return in Scream 3. Only time will tell if she survives Scream 4, set for release April 11, 2011. You go, Neve. --EF

Toon Squad in Space Jam

When his extraterrestrial theme park “Moron Mountain” starts hitting the pits, the evil Mister Swackhammer (voiced by Danny DeVito) sends his minions, the Nerdlucks, to Toon Town, hoping to capture the hilarious animal characters for a new attraction. In a battle for their freedom, the Looney Tunes challenge the puny Nerdluck minions to a classic game of B-Ball. However, Bugs and the crew were unaware of their alien powers and the Nerdlucks traveled to earth to steal the powers of some of Basketball’s greatest talents, transforming them into the infamous, all-powerful Monstars. Fortunately, Bugs comes up with a plan to summon the game’s greatest and recently-retired player: Michael Jordan. As the game begins, the Monstars play brutally, sending half the Toon squad to the bench with devastating injuries. After a prep talk for the ages, Jordan, Bill Murray and the Toon Squad lead a furious comeback. In perhaps the most epic game of all time, the Looney Tunes’ freedom comes down to the final posession. Down by one, the ball comes to Jordan’s hands. But as he goes to dunk, all five Monstars hold him down. It seems like he’ll never make it to the basket. Using his recently acquired Looney Tunes powers, Jordan extends his arm from half court to the basket and dunks, winning the Looney Tunes their freedom and restoring happiness to Earth. If only. --EF

Erin Brockovich

When she was a Kmart employee, she had big dreams of becoming a beauty pageant queen. When she was named Miss Pacific Coast, she had bigger dreams of saving the world. And without any legal training, she took Pacific Gas and Electric to court for all they were worth, earning defendants of the California town of Hinkley $333 million for the PG&E’s malpractice. Cherry on top? Biopic starring Julia Roberts as Brockovich. We think every good underdog story should end with Julia Roberts.
Now, with her J.D., she runs her own consumer advocacy group called Brockovich Research & Consulting and has her very own website. A self-proclaimed “modern-day ‘David’”, Brockovich provides a page on her website entitled “Whistleblower,” where each one us can report a complaint for her to investigate. With a header that features a glowing Brockovich portrait, her silky blonde hair tousled and her blue eyes gazing off into the distance, she reminds us that anything is possible with a good jaw line. --DA

Jesus Christ 

Although the son of God, Christ Almighty was born to a single mother. The road to prophecy was not an easy one, and Christ endured numerous challenges and bouts of self doubt. At an early age, he was betrayed by his best friend Peter and once got lost from his parents in Jerusalem. Later on in life, he got into a showdown with the devil that lasted for forty days in the desert. But Christ persevered before meeting his fate at the hands of the Roman Empire. Still, even death was no match for this great underdog—he was resurrected after only three days! Jesus stands on the list of the Indy’s greatest underdogs because although he is one of the world’s most famous messianic figures, his teachings of love and respect often remain afterthoughts in this world of money and war. Holy shout out to Moses and Muhammed. —EF

Ma-Ti from Captain Planet
Captain Planet was the childhood hero of a generation, saving the environment one episode at a time. With a turquoise mullet and largely undefined powers—able to fly, telecommunicate, manipulate the weather, and shape-shift depending on the challenge at hand—he remains the illest hero to date and also the most pertinent.
His team was composed of five members from five different nations: Kwame from Africa, Wheeler from Brooklyn, Linka from the USSR, Gi from Southeast Asia, and Ma-Ti from the Amazon rainforest. But while all the other Planeteers of the show got totally badass powers—Earth, Fire, Wind, and Water—Ma-Ti, raised by a Kayapo Indian shaman, was cruelly shortchanged with the power of Heart, to instill empathy into others to care about the planet. As powerful as compassion can be, no way Ma-Ti stood a chance against all those evil corporate foes. In the end, though, Ma-Ti was the true Cinderella—he had his own monkey sidekick, Suchi: by far the best character on the show. —DA

Rosa Parks
Straight out of Tuskegee, Rosa Parks was a tiny woman with a huge appetite for justice. She became active in the civil rights movement at the age of 30, and was the only female member of Montgomery’s NAACP chapter. And, of course, there was her glorious bucking of the system on a city bus in 1955, the ultimate underdog story: when asked by a white man to give up her seat in the all-colored section, she flat-out refused. Parks landed herself in jail for a night and was fired from her job as a seamstress, but her act of civil disobedience set a city bus boycott in motion and set the national civil rights movement on fire. We salute Parks for fighting for the right to sit wherever she damn well pleased. —GB