House of X #5: Recap and Review

The X-Men are resurrected

In House of X #5, Hickman once again changes the status quo for X-Men. There are three major shifts this issue introduces. In the first issue of House of X, we see the X-Men being “born” from orange pods, being welcomed by Charles Xavier. Magneto explains to his daughter, Polaris, how the mutants are resurrected. First, Goldballs uses his power to create biological eggs. Then they’re made “viable” by Proteus’ ability to warp reality. Elixir then uses his abilities to “kick-start cellular replication.” With a fully viable egg, Tempus uses her time-acceleration abilities to mature the mutants inside. Hope Summers uses her powers to boost the other four and create unison. Finally, to restore the minds of the mutants, Xavier, is able to transfer a copy of the mutant mind.

Krakoa becomes a nation

At the United Nations, the vote recognizing Krakoa as an independent nation was held. Emma Frost telepathically manipulates the voters and Krakoa is granted it’s nation status. Charles Xavier telepathically acknowledges that he knows that Emma did this. She plays the fool, having no idea of what he’s referring to. Regardless, he tells her that he’s “grateful for her sacrifice.” We get another explainer informing us of how mutant diplomacy is working. 100 nations have accepted a trade deal with Krakoa, with several rejecting it. These nations consisting of Iran, North Korea, Brazil and Wakanda are automatically considered “adversarial.”

Apocalypse and the other mutant villains arrive

Wolverine is preparing to meet the villains that Xavier has invited to Krakoa. Logan isn’t happy, believing that some are “beyond saving.” Magneto suggest that if that were true, neither one of them would be in Krakoa. The villains finally arrive, with Mister Sinister, Lady Mastermind, Selene Gallio, Callisto, Daken and finally Apocalypse being present. Krakoa greets Apocalypse (referring to the fact that Krakoa was saved by him, shown in Powers of X #4). Wolverine asks is there “gonna be a problem,” Apocalypse responds “why would it be.” Apocalypse is actually proud of them, as this is his dream. Prompted by Magneto, Apocalypse states that he and the incoming villains will submit to the laws of Krakoa, and serve it’s higher purpose.


Conclusion

I’ve said this before, but it bare repeating this series is amazing. House of X #5, continues to change X-Men for the better. Some may find that the resurrection of mutants, particularity the team that died in issue four, cheapens their death. That’s not an unreasonable feeling, but we all probably figured that they would come back we just didn’t know how. The process is more complicated than the process describe above. If you read those explainers the resurrection process does come with cost and effort. I think that’s appropriate considering how convenient resurrection is. That said I feel that it won’t remain so easy. If you think about there’s a lot to be concerned with. First, Xavier is back to acting strangely.

He was never as moral as he claimed but now he’s openly supporting Emma Frost undermining democracy. Now that Krakoa is a nation state it feels like there will be some issues with nationalism, although that may not be a bad thing. The scene were Storm is basically acting like a religious zealot and of course the arrival of villains who may not hate mutants but surely still hate humans. I predict that this will end badly. As I’ve stated before mutants like Magneto and Apocalypse, have largely come into conflict with the X-Men not because they wanted mutants to prosper, but because of how they went about reaching that goal. If they’re on the same page, conflict shouldn’t arise. However, we know that humanity will not let Krakoa stand.

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Spider-Man #1 Recap and Review: Ben Parker becomes Spider-Man

I feel like Spider-man has been over exposed recently. Maybe it’s the Marvel, Fox deal falling apart and the conversations that followed. Regardless, I’m a little fatigued with Spider-man. This miniseries (5 issues) focuses on the father-son relationship between Peter and Ben, while being written by father-son duo J.J. Abrams and Henry Abrams. The art is by Sara Pichelli and Dave Stewart, with lettering by Joe Caramagna. We join Spider-man in the middle of a disaster area. It’s unclear what happened but Peter is injured. Mary Jane runs up to him (with his severely injured arm) and hey laugh at his corny jokes. An unfamiliar villain (to me at least) arrives and attacks with an group of xenomorph looking machines. The leader asks for Spider-man’s help.

MJ runs, as Peter is overtaken by machines. The villain called Cadaverous, kills Mary Jane. At her funeral we see that Peter lost that arm and his son, Ben Parker is present as well. The issue moves forward 12 years, Ben has become a troubled teen, getting in fights at school. According to his Principal (Orleen), Ben is a consistent presence in his office. Peter, now with a hook for an arm, arrives to pick his son up. They argue in the car, but it’s clear that Peter has given up on being a good father. He spends most of his time traveling the world as a photojournalist, leaving the parenting to Aunt May. She brings him to her attic, where he sees his father’s old Spider-man costume. Meanwhile, Cadaverous is still a threat. He’s searching for a cure for a mysterious woman.

So far this series is just okay. Considered the fact that this is a miniseries with only 5 issues, this one feels wasted. If you only have 5 issues to tell your story it needs to start with a bag. MJ dying in the beginning was surprising because of expectation, but not because of history. Mary Jane has died a lot in comics, so it doesn’t feel revolutionary. I feel like I know how Ben’s story is going to end. He becomes Spider-man and then takes over the mantle from his father. I love the art of Sara Pichelli but I don’t feel like this is her best work. I think it’s not her penciling but maybe the muted colors from Dave Stewart. I don’t care who the mystery woman is or have much interest in Cadaverous. Still with only four issues left, I see this miniseries to the end.

Cop Craft Episode 10: Recap and Review

Episode 10: Cock Robin, John Doe

It’s been 2 weeks since the last episode of Cop Craft, (episode 9.5 was a recap episode) and when we left off, the third mayoral candidate was assassinated. The impact of the assassination could significant because the victim was human while the perpetrator was Semanian. Cop Craft has been circling around the possibility of a race war from the beginning. It feels like the series is going to take racism seriously now. The result of the assassination is so far an increase of anti-Semanian resentment. The two candidates are impacted differently from this sentiment. Mozeleemay, the Semanian candidate, is questioned by Kei and Tilarna. Kei suggests that he might be involved since he could get over 200,000 votes as a result of Khan’s death.

Mozeleemay’s wife counters with polling that suggests that Tourte (the other candidate) will get over 300,000 votes after Khan’s death. At this point we know that Mozeleemay’s wife is the one doing the killing or at least she’s hiring the assassins. She’s clearly in charge of him. However, Mozeleemay is assassinated when he was giving a speech. Kei is able to systemically locate the assassin, he and Tilarna chase the suspect. As he lies dying, he thanks them. It turns out that the assassin wasn’t an animated corpse like the rest, but the assassin is human. According to Tilarna, he can use Mildey, a form of magic used by Semanian. This complicates the narrative so far. It may be the case that there’s a third party involved in this conspiracy.

The presence of Vaifaht Steel, a rare substance that is considered “holy” and is generally used to create weapons or armor. Vaifaht can change it’s form in response to latena. Made form trees, it’s then turned in cloth and weaved into clothing. She demonstrates this for her co-workers. The gun made of Vaifaht steel, couldn’t have been made solely with the steel. Tilarna believes that a combination of Semanian and human technology is responsible. This is another good episode. I love the political conspiracy in this series. I wonder if they’re going to mention the Marla Mozeleemay who was responsible for Zoey’s murder. Would she kill Zoey, Khan and her husband? That doesn’t make since does it? Maybe she’ll use the tragic event to run, regardless of her involvement.

Leeze has been an important part of this episode, but the series went out of the way to prevent Tilarna from saying who or what Leeze is. Hopefully, this pays off. Finally, the animation of the series is now terrible. I ignore it because the story is so interesting.

Follow me on twitter @OtakuOrbit.


Reviews of Cop Craft:

One Piece Chapter 956: Recap & Review, What happened to Sabo?

Chapter 956: ‘Big News’

The one grip I have with Oda is his tendency to have big events occur off screen. This is certainly done on purpose to create mystery and suspense. It works. It’s a week after the Reverie and all the nobles have returned home. Garp and the Neptune family are at the Ryugu Palace. Garp asks them not to “fear humans for an incident that happened to the Nefertari Family of Alabasta.” This event isn’t elaborated on, but we should expect it to be tragic. Meanwhile, days prior, the World Economy News Paper are preparing stories for the following issue. He mentions the “casualties” and how “death sells.” He’s given a check from the Government to suppress the details of Reverie. However, he refuses to do so. When a member of Cipher Pol threats him, Morgans beats him up.

News spreads. On Momoiro Island, the Revolutionary Army are shocked by the “news” regarding Sabo, as are Sterry and the Dadan Family. Doflamingo is overjoyed at the news, while, Blackbeard tells his crew they need to set sail to “claim something before the Marines do.” X Drake informs Koby that Kiado and Big Mom have formed an alliance. He tells Koby that Cipher Pol is present in the Flower Capital in Wano. Meanwhile, Koby is heading to Amazon Lily to capture Hancock. The final shocker is that the Shichibukai have been abolished. Proposed by King Riku Doldo and Nefertari Cobra, the Government agreed to end it. I’m not really concerned for the Warlord’s though, Buggy always escapes somehow and Hancock is tough.

This sets up the Marine’s for interesting conflicts with the Shichibukai. The most interesting match up will be the Marines verses Mihawk, although I expect that Oda will resolve that conflict off screen. There’s so much that has happen in this chapter. But let’s get this out the way. I don’t think for one second that Sabo is dead. It’s unnecessary to kill both of Luffy”s “brothers” and considering all the effort to retrieve Ace’s devil fruit and the perfect symmetry of that moment would be a waste. I think Sabo most likely has been captured. However, I think a third more terrible thing could have happened. Sabo killed Vivi and fled. Maybe he was framed or it was an accident, but I think that is what probably happened.

While, Morgans newspaper can’t be trusted, I think at least tell the truth most of the time. The fact that X Drake is a double agent in Kiado’s crew is surprising. This new Marine unit, SWORD seems interesting. Their goals are clear yet but both X Drake and Koby are apart of it. With Cipher Pol present in Wano things are getting interesting. They were suppose to negotiate with Orochi but the deal fell through, with Orochi shooting one of them and telling Cipher Pol that he wasn’t afraid of Nobles or Marines. How will they respond? History suggest with violence. Regardless, they could be a wild card in this upcoming war.

Anime series I’m looking forward to this fall season

October marks the beginning of the fall anime season. While many of the series from the summer will continue like Dr. Stone, Fire Force and Vinland Saga, some new and returning series have piqued my interest.


My Hero Academia (Season 4)

Premiering Oct. 12th

I’ve decided that I will be reviewing the anime My Hero Academia from now on. Probably the most anticipated anime of the fall season, the fourth season will focus on the events of the Shie Hassaikai Arc. The eleventh arc in the series, the students of Class 1-A learn about the Hero Internships . Last season we were introduced to the Big 3, Tamaki Amajiki, Nejire Hado and Mirio Togata, third year students that hope to help students of Class 1-A. Izuku Midoriya meets All Might’s former sidekick, Sir Nighteye.


No Gun Life (Season 1)

Premiering Oct. 10th

No Guns Life is a new anime, adapted from the manga of the same name. After the war, the Extended (cyborg soldiers) are discharged. On such soldier is Inui Juuzou. His body was transformed into a weapon, with his head being replaced with a giant gun. To make a living Inui acts as a Resolver, a type of private investigator that solves cases involving the Extended. His loyalty to the Extended, obligates him into getting involved in the protection of a child from evil corporation, Beruhren.


Mugen no Juunin: Immortal

Premiering Oct. 9th

Blade of the Immortal is one of the manga series I always intended to start but the 30 volumes felt too daunting. Regardless, the reboot of the series (there was a series in 2008) is coming this fall. For those that are unaware, Blade of the Immortal, focuses on the immortal swordsman, Manji. Cursed with immortality, Manji has become tired of his death dealing. He decides that he will kill 100 “evil men” for every good one he killed. The witch that gave him his cursed life, agrees with Manji’s quest. He begins his path to kill 1000 evil men. On the way he meets Rin, a young girl that wishes to seek revenge for the slaughter of her family.

30 Day DC Challenge – Day 30: Favorite DC Event

Final Crisis

Final Crisis is a crossover story that ran from May 2008 to January 2009. Written by Grant Morrison, the limited series spanned 7 issues. Marketed as “the day evil won,” Final Crisis deals with Darkseid as he plots to “overthrow reality.” After the final battle of the New Gods, the spirit of Darkseid travels through time and manifests inside the body of a human being. After finding the dying Orion, detective Dan Turpin, The Justice League of America and the Green Lantern Corps investigate. The learn that he was killed by a Radion bullet that was “fired backwards through time from the future.” Realizing the upcoming threat, Alan Scott enacts “Article X,” preparing the metahuman forces for the war that is coming.

The New Gods manage to remove the greatest obstacles to Darkseid’s master plan. Batman is captured, Hal Jordan framed for murder, Wonder Woman infected by bacteria called Morticoccous, Superman in the future and Flash in the past. Turpin is possessed by the essence of Darkseid, who then subjects Turpin’s body to “bio-genetic restructuring” to recreate Darkseid’s original form. Darkseid’s agents spread the Anti-Life Equation through communication networks, spreading it around the world. As a result, Darkseid gains control over the majority of Earth’s population.

A small group of superheroes manage to resists. A battle between the mind controlled heroes and the resistance. Wonder Woman infects the other heroes with Morticoccous that strips them of their powers. Batman mortally wounds Darkseid with a radion bullet, however, Darkseid kills him with his Omega Beams. Enraged Superman retrieves Batman’s corpse, the Flashes still being chased, lead Black Racer and the Omega Beams that follow them directly to Darkseid. Like most crossovers, Final Crisis is convoluted and not for everyone. The art style shifts from JG Jones to Doug Mahnke, the death of Batman turns out not to matter. Despite all this I still enjoyed Final Crisis, it’s overall entertaining and I did wonder if Darkseid would win.

Well this marks the last day of this challenge. Did you enjoy it? Have another challenge I should consider? Regardless, I appreciated all the comments. Thank you.

Pokemon Sun and Moon Episode 139 Review, Ash finally wins a Pokemon League

After over 20 years, over 1000 episodes, collecting over 40 badges and 88 different Pokemon, Ash and Pikachu finally win a Pokemon League (technically he’s won in the Orange League). Throughout the series Ash has failed to win any of the six previous leagues. He finished top 16 in the Indigo Plateau Conference, top 8 in the Silver Conference, top 8 in the Ever Grande Conference, top 4 in the Lily of the Valley Conference, top 8 in the Vertress Conference and he finished runner up in the Lumiose Conference. With a team of Pikachu, Rowlet, Lycanroc, Torracat and Melmetal, Ash defeated his “rival” Gladion in the Manalo Conference.

The accomplishment was the #1 trending topic on Twitter, being noted by CNN, the BBC, Complex and Business Insider. Many fans felt that Ash’s perseverance throughout the years, never giving up was a model for everyone. I complained last time Ash lost, wondering if he every was going to win one. I just realized that Ash has failed more than main characters in anime tend to. Generally, there’s a massive surge of power that manifests itself before the main hero loses, ensuring that they always win. Granted, Ash has had some of his Pokemon overcome near defeat to win plenty of times, but never in the league finals. Also, to be fair many of the protagonist in other anime would have died if they lost, Ash never faced such dangers.

This win has lead to speculation that the next series will feature someone other than Ash. While I’m fine if Ash moves on, I don’t think I can live without seeing Pikachu again. Ash’s Alolan Team shares similarities with his Hoenn and Kalos team’s, he caught two out of the three starter Pokemon, he didn’t catch any water Pokemon and this region is the first time he caught a steel type and a Mythical Pokemon (Meltan). With all Ash has accomplished he’s still along way from catch ’em all.

Powers of X #4: Recap and Review

The cover of Powers of X #4, art by RB Silva.

In the fourth issue of Powers of X, titled “Something Sinister,” we get some humor to go with a often dark story. Some of the gaps in the timeline are filled, as we get to see what Charles Xavier planned before the current time. During Year One, Magneto and Xavier head to Bar Sinister. Hickman present Mister Sinister a little differently from normal. Sinister is more ridiculous and flamboyant, or as he puts it “being absolutely fabulous.” Sinister has many clones, so it’s unclear which one is “in charge.” When Magneto and Xavier meet with the one they assume is in charge, he tells Magneto how much he loves his cape. He’s thinks he would look good with a cape. When his butler clone says that he “always thought he should wear one,” he has him executed for not mentioning it sooner.

Xavier offers the DNA of mutants to complete a “safe, secure and redundant,” database. This Sinister refuses to help but is killed by the Sinister with the mutant gene. He agrees and Xavier wipes his mind, making him forget why he’s doing it in the first place. Months before the current timeline, Xavier and Cypher land on Krakoa. Xavier wants to introduce Cypher to Krakoa. Cypher learns that Krakoa use to be called Okkara. The land of Okkara was torn in two, resulting in a land named Arakko and of course Krakoa. Cypher is able to build a “translation program” to allow mutants to interact with Krakoa without Cypher’s aid.

Finally, in Year One Thousand, the first of the elders are hoping for ascension. This section of this series is the most difficult to grasp. It’s has to much ambiguity and I don’t care what happens to anyone. Hickman needs to do a better job explaining why the Year 1000 timeline matters. As usual the art of RB Silva is magnificent. Despite the funny Mister Sinister moments, Powers of X #4 is the most underwhelming issue so far. The most interesting part of the issue was the fact that Apocalypse and his four horsemen came to save Krakoa. I feel like that’s the most we are going to get on that story.


Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 24: Recap & Review

Image from Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 24 of Kanao throwing tea in Tanjiro's face
Kanao throwing tea in Tanjiro’s face

Season 1, Episode 24: ‘Rehabilitation Training’

Finally closer to recovering, Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke put through “rehabilitation training.” Aoi creates the plan for them. Zenitsu doesn’t start right away. He’s been given the impression from the exhausted look on the faces of Tanjiro and Inosuke that the training is daunting. He is (as expected) petrified by attending the training. However, when the training is explained to him, stretching by girls, then a reflex game and finally a game of tag, Zenitsu is overjoyed by the chance to touch and be touched by pretty girls. After initially finding Zenitsu to be annoying and over the top, I’ve become accustomed to his personality. Zenitsu remains the primary source of comedy in this series, I appreciate that about him.

This episode isn’t all fun and games however. While, Inosuke and Zenitsu abandon training after they fail to capture Kanao, Tanjiro focuses on mastering his breathing. He’s informed that all the Hashira’s and Kanao can use the “Total Concentration Breathing” all day long. Tanjiro begins to increase his training hoping to achieve the feat. He must become able to use his breath to explode special gourds of increasing size, if he’s going to reach the next level. Finally, Tanjiro and Shinobu have a conversation on the roof. She reveals that she’s always angry, after Tanjiro asks why the scent he receives from her is always angry.

Image from Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 24 of Shinobu's sisters death.
Shinobu’s sisters death

He sister was killed by a demon. Like Tanjiro she had sympathy for demon. Shinobu tried to emulate he sisters smile, but she finds it exhausting to do so. Shinobu decides that she will leave Tanjiro with the mission her sister started, forging relationships with demons. Unfortunately, the new character development seems to suggests that Shinobu will die soon. It think she will find the demon that killed her sister and finally let go of that anger to kill it. This coupled with the fact that Kanao has not so subtly been position as her successor, training under Shinobu and already achieving feats that the other Hashira’s can do. However, I don’t think this will happen this season.

Kyojuro Rengoku on the other hand will likely die this season. In the beginning of the episode, Shinobu asks him where he’s going. He’s likely going to encounter a member of the Upper Ranks. Since Giyu so easily defeat Rui a member of the Lower Ranks, I think we can assume that the higher ranks are significantly stronger. My prediction is that Demon Slayer will leave us with a understanding that Hashira’s aren’t enough and no one is safe. Regardless, Tanjiro, Inosuke and Zenitsu are going to have to get stronger.

30 Day DC Challenge – Day 29: Most Powerful Character in DC

The Spectre

The Spectre is a divine Spirit of Vengeance. He’s considered the “right hand of his God.” The Spectre is an “aspect” of the Presence (the One Above All), joining His Wrath (Eclipso), and His Mercy (Radiant). A former angel named Aztar, he needs a mortal host. In 1940, Jim Corrigan became the latest host of the Spectre. Corrigan was murdered, he was tied up and thrown in a barrel of cement that was then thrown into a river. After his death he went to Limbo. He was bonded with the Spectre Force and given the mission to “confront evil wherever he found it.” When he returned he exacted his revenge on the mobsters that murdered him.

As a servant of God, The Spectre is granted limitless power. He is a being that’s capable of almost anything. He’s second only to the “one.” He can warp and control reality. This allows him to simulate any form of superpower or ability. As a divine agent The Spectre has access to all knowledge. The Spectre is also immortal. His powers can be reduced by the Voice. He also cannot take any action that is “not dictated by the laws that he’s bound to.” He can also be killed by a weapon of sufficient magical force. Each Spectre host manifest a unique Spectre form, some people can recognized the host if they new them in life. After Jim Corrigan, Hal Jordan becomes the next Spectre host, followed by Crispus Allen. In the New 52, the Spectre is once again Jim Corrigan.

Enen no Shouboutai Episode 10: Recap and Review

In episode 10 of Fire Force, Shinra, Tamaki and Obi are sitting in the car arriving to the meeting at  Amaterasu.
Shinra excited to see Amaterasu

Season 1, Episode 10: ‘The Promise’

The tenth episode of Enen no Shouboutai (Fire Force), the Promise, introduces the Tokyo Imperial Emperor, Raffles III. He calls an emergency conference of all the Captains to discuss the threat of the Evangelist. It’s rare that all the Captains meet. They arrive at the thermal energy plant, Amaterasu. The plant produces all the energy for Tokyo. The conference begins. Along with Leonard Burns (1st), Princess Hibana (5th) and Akitaru Obi (8th), we are introduced to Gustav Honda (2nd), Dr. Giovanni (3rd), Soichiro Hague (4th), Kayoko Huang (6th) and finally Benimaru Shinmon (7th).

Obi notes that the 7th rarely shows up. Shinra states that Shinmon is considered to be the “mightiest Fire Soldier.” The Emperor begins by telling that the Captains that the Evangelist must be stopped as they are traitors. Shinmon is disrespectful when the Emperor suggests that they’re protected by the “Great Sol.” He states that his name is Shinmon Benimaru, which apparently suggests that he’s a “proto-nationalists.” It would have been helpful for Fire Force to explain what a “proto-nationalists” is, why his name is proto-nationalists” and why that’s a problem. Clearly it means that he doesn’t follow orders and he leaves.

In episode 10 of Fire Force, Sho Kusakabe sits on a throne while leaning on a sword.
Sho Kusakabe

Joker arrives and plans to see Shinra again. It is revealed to the Captains that Shinra has the Adolla Burst. This is the same as the flame of Amaterasu. Captain Obi and Company 8, take full responsibility for protecting Shinra. While watching Amaterasu, Joker interrupts him. Joker offers him a “reward,” and tells him that his brother, named Sho Kusakabe is now a Commander of the Knights of the Ashen Flame. Tanaka tells Shinra that he wants him to trust them. At the end of the episode he finally tells them about what Joker told him about his brother. We get a brief look at the White Clad cult and Sho, who has the same smile as Shinra.

This episode largely serves as a recap episode, but there’s enough new information that it doesn’t matter. We are starting to get some clarity on the hierarchy of the Fire Force universe, but I still don’t understand which of the Companies can be trusted. The impression this episode in parts is that Company 3, lead by Dr. Giovanni is a possible threat to Shinra. Company 7, lead by Benimaru Shinmon seem like the most likely to fight against the Church and Government. However, what remains unclear is whether these organizations are evil at all. Joker’s loyalties are interesting. He clearly is obsessed with Shinra, but what he gains from instigating a conflict between brothers is uncertain.


30 Day DC Challenge – Day 28: Favorite DC Graphic Novel

Watchmen Graphic Novel cover issue #1, At Midnight, All The Agents by Dave Gibbons. The purpose of the image is to show the smiley face motif

Watchmen

The Watchmen was the first graphic novel/comic book series I read that didn’t have mainstream superheroes like Superman or Batman. Created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, the 12 issue series was published in 1986 and 1987. It has since spawned a movie adaptation, a prequel mini series titled Before Watchmen and a HBO tv series. Moore originally wanted to write a story that ” featured an unused line of superheroes that he could revamp.” His hope was to “shock and surprise” readers by using characters that were familiar to them. However, DC while receptive to his pitch, though using original characters was a better idea. He said that ” if I wrote the substitute characters well enough, . . . then it might work.” Dave Gibbons asked to be involved in the project and sent him the outline.

Watchmen is set in an alternate universe that is similar to the world during the 1980’s. The main difference is the existence of superheroes. These heroes alter real life events like the Vietnam War and Richard Nixon presidency. None of the superheroes have any super powers except, Doctor Manhattan. Superheroes become unpopular among the public resulting in the passage of the Keene Act. As a result many heroes retire, except the Comedian and Dr. Manhattan, while Rorschach continues to work illegally. The story is complex, as the antihero Rorschach investigates the death of the Comedian and uncovers a conspiracy that threatens to destroy the world.

The Watchmen series features structures that deviate from the comics of the time using a “nine panel grid system,” the cover of each issue was the first panel of the story and each cover “were designed as close-ups that focused on a single detail with no human elements present.” It also had a story within a story, Tales of the Black Freighter. Moore used several different images and symbols like, a stained smiley face (considered the symbol of the series), doomsday clock and craters, all cleverly woven into the series. Watchmen tackled adult themes, with a sophisticated plot. Watchmen is one of the best works I’ve ever read. It has been described as “one of the greatest literary works ever created.” Watchmen was honored in Time Magazine’s best 100 English Language novels from 1923 to present, it was the only comic present. I couldn’t recommend this graphic novel enough, if you get a chance read it.

One Piece Chapter 955: Recap & Review

Enma

The One Piece series has always featured swords. However, the series rarely elaborate on swords as a form of fighting. Having largely focused on devil fruits and haki, swords have been left out. Zoro has been the most important swordsmen in the series. Through him we have the most exposure to swords and how they are used in combat. One Piece has classified swords by their qualities. The three classifications are, Meito, Kokuto and Yoto. The Meito (Famed Blade) class is a sword that has gained such fame that it can be recognized by sight. Kokuto (Black Blade) are swords that are blacked colored. Finally, the Yoto (Mystic Blade) class, carries a curse that causes misfortune to its wielder.

The blades classed Meito are also ranked by “grade.” The grades are Grade swords, Skillful grade, Great grade and Supreme grade. There are an undetermined number of Grade Swords as they’re the lowest grade. There are 50 Skillful Grade Swords, 21 Great Grade Swords and 12 Supreme Grade Swords. In chapter 955, titled Enma, Zoro is given his second of two Great Grade Swords. Enma is a Meito that use to belong to Kozuki Oden, it’s also the only weapon said to have harmed Kiado. A masterpiece from the legendary swordsmith Shimotsuki Kozaburo, it is describe as being able to “cut through to the bottom of hell.” Tenguyama Hitetsu believes that if Zoro can make Enma a black blade, it’s rank would increase.

Enma is difficult to wield. Enma is able to draw out the wielders Busoshoku Haki on it’s own, it can result in the force of a strike being greater than intended. It was stated that if Zoro was a lesser swordsmen he would have been turned into a “dry husk.” Zoro is able to force his haki back from the blade. The Wano Country Arc seems to be a turning point in regards to focusing more on swords and the power. The chapter largely focuses on the preparations for the upcoming battle. A handful of days are left until the raid, Robin reveals that the Beast Pirates have 20,000 men and Orochi has 10,000. The Alliance only has 4,000. Clearly, they’re at a numerical disadvantage. However, I think that they have better “quality” of warriors. With Luffy mastering the new Haki and Zoro able to master Enma It think that they will be fine.

My Hero Academia Chapter 243 Recap & Review

Onward! To Endeavor’s Office

It’s New Year’s , the students are finally able to visit their parents, but they need to be accompanied by pro heroes. Hawks continues his undercover mission with the Liberation Front. Skeptic criticizes Slidin’ Go for his claim that he’s Hawks “superior.” He says that he doesn’t have “the influence to spread the doctrine,” and get information from “key figures in the hero system.” He placed twenty micro devices on the wings of Hawks, to collect “location data, communication records, real time conversations and visuals.” Slidin’ Go is also a hero like Hawks, but has far fewer connections. We see that Hawks has been in contact with the heroes and warned them that he will be monitored.

Midoriya, Bakugo and Shoto arrive at Endeavor’s office. He greets them with a smile, but quickly warns them that they shouldn’t expect kindness from him. He makes it clear that he only really cares about training Shoto, Bakugo calls him a “hard ass.” Endeavor is surprised that Shoto is friends with Bakugo. All Might is supportive of them interning at Endeavor’s. He suggests that Bakugo is very similar to Endeavor and it might benefit him the most. Meanwhile, Endeavor tells Midoriya that he’s only interested in his son, but they could learn from him by watching. He springs into action as the trio follow.

A villain appears and begins to attack the civilians. Hawks is also present and prepares to fight. I think that Endeavor will warm up to Bakugo and Midoriya. He could solidify his legacy if he was the trainer of what I think will be the top three heroes at some point. I wonder if he starts to show some more favoritism toward Midoriya and Bakugo, if Shoto would have an issue. I think that Hawks will get caught at some point, however, I think it will only happen after he becomes important to the young heroes like Midoriya. This next chapter will probably be the start of their relationship. His death will need to have some impact on the main characters right now they don’t really know him.

30 Day DC Challenge – Day 27: Favorite DC Comic Book series

Kingdom Come

Kingdom Come was written by Alex Ross and Mark Waid. The series is part of DC comics Elsewords imprint. Featuring the photorealistics art style of Alex Ross, the series focused on a complex story of a future DC universe. Ross created new costumes for most of the characters, he also added several new characters. Set in the year 2020, the Justice League we come to know have mostly retired. They are succeeded by a new more radical generation, that lacks the concern of civilians. They often clash with each other. After a nuclear explosion in Kansas, resulting from Parasite tearing apart Captain Atom, Superman finally comes out of retirement.

Other heroes continued to fight crime, The Flash still patrols around Keystone City, Hawkman protects the forests of the Pacific Northwest, Green Lantern watches Earth from an emerald city in space, Batman (now elderly) uses robots to patrol Gotham. However, other heroes like Aquaman, the Amazons and the Legion of Super-Heroes abandon the world. The four issues results in Superman creating a “reformation center” for superheros called the “Gulag.” It becomes a re-education camp, trying to teach the prisoners how to use their powers.

Lex Luthor and Batman join forces (it doesn’t last long) to create the Mankind Liberation Front. Superman and Captain Marvel fight, a bomb is dropped on the combatants. Captain Marvel sacrifices himself, but the bomb still manages to kill many of the super-humans. Superman and Wonder Woman become pregnant and Batman becomes the godfather. The series Kingdom Come is an epic story with amazing art. It’s one of the few series that gives Superman complexity. I highly recommend this series.

Samurai 8: The Tale of Hachimaru, Chapter 18: Recap and Review

Use As Planned

The samurai Kotsuga and Ryu face off against Daruma. Ryu’s forgetfulness, results in him misunderstanding Kotsuga’s command of kill “everyone but the girl.” The ronin bandits are well weird. Sometimes stupidity can work as a form of comedy, but I’m not sure about Ryu and Kotsuga. Although, I did feel that there some potential for comedy here. Regardless, Ryu and Daruma battle. Ryu stop’s before asking Daruma if he’s a boy cat or a girl. Daruma responds neither, he’s a man. As they clash, Ryu takes out a second soul. He’s able to use his bone hilt from both sides. With the entire ship being Daruma’s key holder, he has control over it. He manages to capture Kotsuga. However, Ryu cuts him free and escapes into space.

Daruma follows, while being told that Hachimaru spent 17 million yen. Ryu lands a blow on Daruma, but fails to do much damaged. He knocks them away with a burst of power. He asks Hachimaru why he spent all that money on “gold thread embroidered fabric.” It was a gift for Ann, to replace her sash she tore to help his father. Now bankrupted, Ryu and Kotsuga suggest that they participate in a in a fighting festival. The winner gets a billion yen. The organizer is apparently a samurai that has one of the keys they need. Hachimaru wants to fight in the festival too. Most shonen manga series have a tournament arc, although they rarely occur this early.

The fact that this samurai can split a planet in half is presented as impressive, but at this point in the series which samurai can’t split a planet in half. The chapter is a little too convenient. Sure instead of being robbed, it’s Hachimaru’s irresponsible spending that bankrupts them. However, Kotsuga and Ryu knowing of a tournament that’s happening at the very moment, with a cash prize to recover the loses and a samurai with a key is a bit too much. I feel it should have been more subtle. Hopefully, we will get to see more fighting styles and get more in-depth information on the series power system. Finally, Ryu and Kotsuga seem to dynamic to disappear now, I think they will join the team.

Dr. Stone Episode 10: Recap and Review

A Flimsy Alliance

Kohaku explains to Suika, that Tsukasa is the guy that “killed” Senku. They discuss whether Gen is a good person or not. Senku says that even if he’s not a good person it doesn’t matter. They need him to tell Tsukasa that “Senku is definitely dead.” If he doesn’t they can’t win. Chrome tells Gen that the “Kingdom of Science is more fun.” Gen remembers being freed by Tsukasa. Having meet before, Tsukasa informs Gen that he’s collecting people to be revived. Gen is attacked by an unseen assailant. He manages to survive by using a fake bag of blood. However, he does sustain some injures. Suika goes to investigate. She’s learns that Magma is responsible.

His next target is Kohaku. He assumes her “power” is due to sorcery and now with Gen “dead” she will just be another girl. Kohaku realizes that Magma probably mistook Gen for Senku. Kohaku defeated Magma in a martial arts tournament. The winner of the tourney would become village elder and marry Rui. He isn’t so happy to do so however. Rui being sick isn’t a desirable wife to him, as he doesn’t want to take care of her. He hopes that she dies and suggests that he would “make it look like she drowned herself out of despair.” Overhearing this Kohaku attacks him, winning the tournament. The tournament will be held in a month. Kohaku suggests that if a man from the Kingdom of Science were to win the tournament they could save her.

She suggest that Kinro and Ginro enter the tournament and begins to train them. Chrome decides that he will focus on finding the cure for Ruri. With Gen in terrible shape, he won’t get back to Tsukasa in time. This means that Tsukasa is likely going to come an kill him. The next morning, Gen flees to go back to Tsukasa. At a cave, Gen finally reaches him. Tsukasa has revived several dangerous looking men and women. Kohaku tries to stop him but Senku tells her that he made up his mind when he saw the electricity and was a promised of cola. I don’t think Tsukasa will be fooled by Gen. Overall, Gen deciding to join the Kingdom of Science was better for him. Yes, he was attacked, but he get better food (Ramen), cola and electricity.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 23: Recap & Review

Hashira Meeting

Tanjiro begins using his breathing technique to free himself. Giyu stops Obanai from interfering. Nezuko remembers her childhood. She begins to control her instincts, she looks away from Sanemi. Surprising to Sanemi, The Master takes it as evidence that she can be trusted. The Master then tells Tanjiro and Nezuko that they must go out in the world and defeat demons. Tanjiro states that he will “defeat Kibutsuji.” The Master kindly points that Tanjiro is nowhere near as powerful as he needs to be. He tells Tanjiro that he should focus on the Twelve Moon. Tanjiro and Nezuko are taken to Kocho mansion, Butterfly Manor.

They’re escorted into the infirmary. We see Zenitsu whining (as usual) about the pour tasting medicine. He needs the medication to regrow his shortened limbs due to being deformed by the venom. Zenitsu and Tanjiro happily greet each other. Inosuke lays silently in the bed besides Zenitsu. His voice has been damaged by the attack Father inflicted on him. Hoarse, he’s depressed by his lack of strength. Clearly this is going to be an opportunity for Tanjiro, Zenitsu, Inosuke and maybe Nezuko to gt some training. Meanwhile, the Hashira have their meeting. Demons are more active now and they need to increase their recruitment number.

Natagumo states that the quality of the non-Hashira’s members is terrible. However, it’s difficult for the Corps to recruit because humanity is largely ignorant of demons. Only those that have lost love ones to demons and are descendants of former demon slayers. The Corps have a good grasp on their problems. However, the ignorance of humanity can be solved by educating them. If the Corps taught them how to protect themselves from demon (wisteria) it would be harder for demons to kill them and get stronger. Right now the Corps are hidden from the public.

You could imagine that the Corps could become a military force, though that has other problems. Another thing that seems to cause them problems is the informal nature of how they choose demon slayers. Tanjiro was trained by a former Hashira, but his survival wasn’t really certain. The Corps seem unwilling to “hand hold,” at least not until after the final selection. Tanjiro is left to his own devices after he survives, given orders to fight but not how to fight. Basically, the leave them to fend for themselves which isn’t working at all. If they had a mentor continue to train with rookie demon slayers they would be better prepared than they tend to be.

30 Day DC Challenge – Day 26: Which Character’s Powers would you want?

Doctor Fate

I always loved magic. I don’t know why. I always thought it was cool. Maybe it’s the sense that with magic has no real limits or it doesn’t always have limits. In the world of superheroes, magicians aren’t prominent. They’re powers often seem just like the other heroes, but the source is different. Also, while many heroes have to learn their powers, there’s an intellectual aspect to learn magic that I respect. Dr. Fate is considered to be the DC counterpoint to Marvel’s Dr. Strange. Like Strange, Dr. Fate is a “magician.” His powers are considered “occultism” that is described as the ability to use magic. Much like Dr. Strange, Dr. Fate (Dr. Kent Nelson) was a physician.

Dr. Fate was a child of archaeologist Sven Nelson. While on an expedition with his father, Kent opens the tomb of Nabu the Wise. He revives Nabu from his suspended animation but accidentally kills his father by unintentionally releasing poisonous gas. Nabu, teaches him sorcery over the next twenty years. Nabu gives him a mystical helmet, amulet and cloak. The Helmet of Fate transforms it wearer into a “master of magic.” He is granted several powers like “spellcasting, flight, superhuman strength, invulnerability, telekinesis, telepathy, pyrokinesis, and the ability to manipulate lightning. His powers have been described as ” the true conversion of energy into matter, and matter into energy.” Regardless, he’s one of the most powerful DC heroes.

30 Day DC Challenge – Day 25: DC character has the worst powers

Wonder Twins

Growing up I loved watching the Superfriends, a more kid friendly Justice League. One duo that were members was the Wonder Twins. The twins were mutants born on planet Exxor. They were each gifted with a specific form of shape-shifting. Their powers were activated when they touch rings. This is part of why their powers are the worst, however, Zan gets the worst of it. Jayna can turn into any animal, whereas, Zan can turn into any form of water (solid, liquid and gas). This ability is limiting in that he can’t really do much. He often turns into a puddle of water and needs to be carried in a bucket.

They were often played for laughs at least during commercial breaks or after credits on the Cartoon Network. The need to for them to announce the form they intended to transformed into stating, “Shape of . . .”, “Form of . . .” seemed impractical, but also was part of the humor. In one episode Jayna turns into a seagull, while Zan turns into a “Ice Gondola (Chair of Ice).” I’m sure that they have gotta retconned in some way or have been given power upgrades, but I choose to remember them as they were on one of my favorite childhood television shows the Superfriends, useless.