Superhero costumes are obviously difficult to come up with. You could be as simple as possible, but that feel like laziness. Some costumes are impractical. Many heroes (mostly women) have costumes that seem to work against them more than for them. Hawkman’s chest harness does little to protect said chest. Sometimes the costume has a feature that does nothing for the hero. Power Girl’s infamous “chest window” is on of the most popular example of this. Most of the worst costumes seem to have been created in the 1970’s. I don’t think that is an accident. The general fashion sense of those times weren’t too subtle. There are so many bad costumes, but this one is the worst.
Batman’s Zebras Suit
Batman has one of the best superhero costume’s in comics. However, he once wore on of the worst ones. In Detective Comics #275, Batman wears a Zebra Batman costume. In the issue, Batman and Robin battle Zebra Man. A small time criminal and a scientists, Zebra Man discovered that “all energy has lines of force.” After charging his body with this energy these “lines of force,” go through his costume. Batman becomes exposed to this energy, he becomes a Zebra-Batman. In this form Batman begins to repel everything with great force. Batman couldn’t get near anyone or eat without repelling it. While the Zebra suit wasn’t an intentionally made costume, it still wasn’t a good look.
In October 1013, a fleet of Danish and Viking ships arrive in England. They are prepared to take London Bridge. Askeladd’s army is hired by Denmark, hoping to get rich with an easy victory. However, things get more complicated, with the deflection of Thorkell the Tall. Askeladd sends Thorfinn after Thorkell. A battle obsessed “madman,” Thorkell fights against his own countrymen for the challenge. When Floki asks the English for their surrender, Thorkell throws a massive boulder at them. He misses, but shows that he’s a major obstacle. The highlight of this episode is the fight between, Thorfinn and Thorkell. Armed with two daggers, Thorfinn takes on the unarmed Thorkell.
This fight is spectacular. They use of dramatic camera angles is really effective. Thorfinn use of superhuman acrobatics when dodging Thorkell’s massive blows is a sight. Thorkell duels Thorfinn one on one. Thorfinn quickly notices that despite being unarmed, Thorkell could kill him with “one hit.” He notices the weak points of Thorkell, attacking low, he manages to stab Thorkell in the hand. However, this allows Thorkell to grab Thorfinn. Slamming Thorfinn into the ground repeatedly, Askeladd and the fleet retreat. Thorfinn escapes after cutting off two of Thorkell’s fingers. He then jumps into the sea after informing Thorkell that he’s named Thorfinn, son of Thors.
Thorkell is excited to have battled such a warrior. He hopes for another battle on day. Realizing that they can’t spend so much time in one city, King Sweyn plans to move West. He will leave 4000 troops to overtake England, handing over command to the young Prince Canute. Ragnar continues to challenge the Kings wisdom in this regard. Every time he does this I expect the King to have him killed. It seems to be foolish to constantly tell the King that he’s wrong without any consequences. Although maybe the King simply responds well to criticism. Meanwhile, Thorfinn returns to land, with a dislocated shoulder, a sprained right ankle and several broken ribs. As they march on to Wessex, Thorfinn struggles to understand why anyone would love battle so much.
The last issue of House of X left us on a cliffhanger. I assumed that all the X-Men would be fine, with either Jean Grey protecting them or Nightcrawler teleporting them to safety. Boy was I wrong. Archangel and Husk are killed. Nightcrawler sustained some internal injuries and Wolverine arm is blown to the bone (although we know he’s fine.) Cyclops and Wolverine agree that the only course is to continue the mission. Nightcrawler transports Cyclops, Mystique and Wolverine to Mother Molds control collars. Wolverine and Nightcrawler successfully destroy two of the collars. The ship with Monet and Jean on it is breached by Orchis forces.
Monet puts Jean in an escape pod and sends her away. She then transforms into her Penance form and fights off the Orchis forces. Cyclops manages to find and release the third collar. Mystique having gotten lost, is intercepted by Dr. Gregor, who opens a hatch sending Mystique into space. In an act of desperation, Dr. Gregor activates Mother Mold. With Mystique dead, there remains one collar. Out of reach for Cyclops, Wolverine and Nightcrawler volunteer to destroy the final collar in space. Nightcrawler teleports them to the collar, instantly dying from the Sun’s heat. Wolverine manages to survive due to his healing factor, he successfully destroy’s the final collar with his claws.
Both Wolverine and Mother Mold fall into the Sun, as Mother Mold rants regarding the fact that “humans and mutants are lacking.” Mother Mold promises to destroy both humans and mutants, before being destroyed itself. With the mission complete, Cyclops tries to find a way to space. Dr. Gregor stops and kills Cyclops with a shotgun. The remaining Sentinels fail to reach the station in time but are able to intercept Jean in the pod, appearing to kill her. After witnessing his X-Men dying at the hands off humans, Xavier crying says “no more.” I was originally excited to see many of my favorite X-Men going on this mission. I didn’t expect that I would regret that. Don’t get me wrong, the sacrifice of the X-Men was impactful and I think necessary. I just glad Storm wasn’t with them. This sets up a interesting problem.
If most of the most popular X-Men are killed in House of X, how are they going to resurrect them later. I assume that Moira will prevent this in another life, but I’m not certain. I feel like Jean’s death was to easy. Mystique seemed to be acting strangely. Maybe it’s my bias because I’m use to her being up to something, but I feel like she must have done something. Seeing the X-Men get slaughtered one by one, despite succeeding in their mission was incredible emotional. Nightcrawler’s and Wolverine’s sacrifice was both epic and touching. I like Hickman’s version of Cyclops, we didn’t get to see much but I didn’t hate him at all. Finally, Xavier seemed to be more like himself finally showing emotion. I don’t know were House of X goes from here, but I can’t wait.
I gotta be honest I don’t really care about sidekicks. They’re generally just younger carbon copies of the main heroes and I feel that they’re often quite useless. Personally, I only know the many Robins and Speedy. He appears in one of my favorite episodes of Justice League Unlimited, Patriot Act. In that episode, Speedy along with Green Arrow, Stargirl, S.T.R.I.P.E., Shining Knight, Crimson Avenger, Vigilante, fight against General Wade Eiling who uses the “super soldier” and attacks the Justice League. He’s one of DC’s oldest characters, having been created in the 1940’s. The sidekick of Green Arrow, he’s an archer, with exceptional marksmanship. Like most of the most well known sidekicks he joins the Teen Titans.
Roy is also well known for his drug addiction. The storyline was considered to be an important moment in comic book history as it represented more mature themes in comics. Like Green Arrow he has no powers, he can use a variety of objects in combat, and is a great detective. Roy has had many romantic relationships in DC, he’s been involved with Donna Troy, Cheshire, Grace Choi, the Huntress, Hawkgirl and Starfire. Speedy is one of the few sidekicks that manage to get from under the shadow of their adopted superhero fathers, showing that he’s a more complex individual.
In episode 9, Shinra faces off with Lieutenant Rekka. They engage in a battle, resulting in Shinra taking Rekka down with a devastating attack. Using his movement he’s able to take advantage and defeat Rekka. However, Shinra almost exhausts the oxygen in his body. During the battle, Rekka notices that a Infernal insect is reacting to Shinra’s flame. He states that Shinra must be the “third person” that the Evangelist was searching for. He claims that Shinra possesses the “undefiled flame, the Adolla Burst.” Rekka explains that the Evangelists hope to make Earth into a “second Sun.”
Rekka reveals that he will make the children look like “they died in a fire and teach them the teachings of the Evangelists.” Shinra flashes back to his childhood, realizing that the Evangelist may have taken his brother. Rekka begins to over use his flame, preparing to die in the process. Karim uses his abilities to seal Rekka in ice. Suddenly, Rekka is shot through the chest, killing him instantly. Two white cloaked assassins succeed in their mission to silence Rekka. They then turn their sights on the others. Attacking Karim, Li intervenes losing his arm in the process.
Karim tells Shinra to create a “smokescreen,” and uses Tamaki to create a distraction. The two assassins retreat, unwilling to risk their lives further. Karim offers to join forces with Company 8 to expose the Evangelists. Tamaki is suspended by Company 1 and joins Company 8. The conspiracy is getting more interesting. The Evangelists and his followers are clearly an extreme religious organization. It also seems clear that the Evangelist took Shinra’s brother. I hope that the series teases out the investigation into the Evangelist because so far it seems that their rushing.
This one was obvious. I think that the Batcave is the coolest hideout in all of comic books. Built under his mansion, the Batcave is a series of subterranean caves. It was a way for slaves to travel when escaping during the civil war era. It’s home to American Brown Bats, which are feed by Alfred. Bruce uses the caves as a sanctum, that he also uses to fight war on crime. Batman is able to monitor Gotham and the world. It’s most important equipment is the supercomputer that is on par with national security agencies. It connects to major information networks, stores massive amounts of data, and can connect to satellites. The “Bat-computer” is considered to be one of the most supercomputer systems.
Batman keeps his collection of ancient armor worn by Knights, nomads and Samurai in the Batcave. It also has facilities such as “crime lab, various specialized laboratories, mechanized workshops, personal gymnasium, a vast library, parking, docking and hangar space for his various vehicles as well as separate exits for the various types, trophies of past cases, a large bat colony, and a Justice League teleporter.” The Batcave has a “subway rocket” that allows him to travel via the Gotham Rail System, allowing him to get to Gotham City quickly. The cave is often powered by a nuclear reactor or a hydro-electric generator. The Batcave is safeguarded against earthquakes and a nuclear catastrophe. It’s rumored that there’s a “Lazarus Pit” in the Batcave but that claim hasn’t been proven.
Finally, the Batcave is home of memorabilia from villains. It features a full-sized T-Rex, a large U.S. penny and a Joker playing card. Batman has kept “Two-Face’s original coin, Deathstroke’s sword, the shroud of the Mad Monk, a collection of the Penguin’s deadly umbrellas, a Joker laughing fish, one of Harley Quinn’s popguns, a Scarface dummy, Bane’s mask and Venom tank, Mad Hatter’s top hat, the Red Hood’s domed helmet and original costume, Maxie Zeus’s lightning weapon, and an over-sized collection of bowling ten-pins.”
The villagers learn that there’s an outsider in the village. They assume that he’s a criminal that was kicked out of the village. Senku and the others prepare to save Ruri from her disease. He plans for the Kingdom of Science to create an antibiotic. Because they can’t tell what her disease is, antibiotics is the best chance to save her. He goes on to explain the two routes to making antibiotics, the biological route and the stone route. The stone route seems to be the more effective one, so they take it. Senku, Kohaku and Chrome begin searching for the elements they need to create the antibiotics.
While collecting elements in the river, they meet Suika. She’s a weird girl with a watermelon rind on her head. She offers to help and Senku’s accepts. Once they collect the ingredients for iron the run into a problem they need to reach 1,500 degrees to make iron. By burning wood they can only reach 700 degrees. As much as they try they don’t have the manpower needed to create iron. Suika goes to find what the villagers would need to join them. Senku concludes that food would be the best way to get some of the villagers on board. Using foxtail millet, he creates ramen. Senku plans to “colonize” the village with ramen.
Let There Be the Light of Science
The Ramen is a hit with the villagers. While feeding the villages, Senku notices a man with half black and half white hair. Kohaku, Kinro and Ginro spring into action. According to Senku the man is Asagiri Gen a “magician who used to write trashy psychology books.” Gen calls himself a “mentalist.” Despite Gen claim that he’s afraid, Kohaku isn’t buying it. Asagiri Gen admits that he’s working for Tsukasa. Gen was sent to confirm that Senku is in fact dead. They acquired iron, Gen claims that whether Senku dies or Tsukasa does is irrelevant. He wins regardless. He dreams of having his own harem. Kohaku doesn’t trust him and thinks that it would be better if he was imprisoned or dead. Senku knows that if he doesn’t return to Tsukasa, then Tsukasa would show up himself.
Senku tells Gen that he’s planning on making a generator. Using the lightning and some iron sand, copper and other items, Senku creates a tower. Using the golden spear of Kinro, they finally get lighting to strike creating a magnet. Senku and the others create a “dual-wield hand-crank generator.” They need two people that are able to work together and have a lot of energy. They turn to Ginro and Kinro. Gen manipulates them into helping. With the electricity they created an “Edison light bulb of Japanese bamboo.” Obviously, Asagiri can’t bet trusted. He may not have any allegiance to Tsukasa but he won’t have any toward Senku.
It think that he’ll try to steal the light bulb that Senku makes. Also with the tension brewing with the Chief and some of the villagers the Kingdom of Science may be in danger. Finally, it seems that Tsukasa has accepted Taiju and Yuzuriha into his empire or at least that’s what Gen says. Tsukasa is no fool and the fact that he sent Gen to confirm the death of Senku suggests that he’s skeptical. I’m enjoying the Senku and the villagers, but I wonder what Tsukasa is up to.
I’m a New Yorker so my natural affinity is for Metropolis, also the crime rate in Gotham seems a little too high. One of the largest cities in DC, Metropolis is the home of Superman. First appearing in Action Comics #16 on Sept. 1939, Metropolis is a massive city in the Northeastern part of the US. It’s close to Gotham City and is considered to be prosperous. Joe Shuster modeled the skyline after Toronto, but Metropolis looks and feels like NYC. In the comics Metropolis is said to have a population of 11 million.
It’s origins date back to 1542, when navigator Vincenzo Gnanatti discovered the region. Metropolis has six boroughs, eight neighborhoods, four waterways, four parks and of course is home to the Daily Planet. It’s home to heroes, Superman, Black Lightning, Booster Gold, Supergirl and Superboy. It’s also home to villains, Bizarro, Brainiac, Lex Luthor, Doomsday and Toyman. Nicknamed “The Big Apricot,” like New York City’s nickname “The Big Apple.” Unlike Gotham, that’s built on manufacturing and shipping industries, Metropolis is build on it’s tech industry.
I gotta say I was disappointed that this episode didn’t continue the previous one. Episode 8 basically acts like the previous events didn’t happen. Tilarna and Kei conduct a sting at an airport. Impatient, Tilarna uses her weapon to cause the plane to crash into the sea. The suspect escapes, leaving behind his cargo. Tilarna is accidentally shot by a small bow and switches bodies with the cat, Kuroi. The next morning Kei of course doesn’t realize the switch. Even worst the bow fell into the trash can, which Kei takes with him when he leaves for work in the morning.
Tilarna manages to text Cecil for help. Kei receives a call from the CBP informing him that one of the 28 Semanian items is missing. The detective Hellmandes threatens to have Kei arrested for “embezzlement,” if he doesn’t return the bow. Cecil arrives to help Tilarna through text messaging they communicate. However, Kuroi in Tilarna’s body knocks Cecil out. Meanwhile, Kei goes to find O’Neill. He finds the remains of a wild party, but O’Neill is trapped under an overweight prostitute. When Cecil awakens the garbage truck takes the trash. Leaving the blinds open, Tilarna asks Cecil to close them. While she does the garbage truck drives off, when Cecil gets back into the car she drives off in the opposite direction.
A King Maker
Picking up where the last episode left off, Cecil and Tilarna search for the garbage truck. Cecil calls the New Compton waste disposal to inform them that she lost something important in the trash. She’s told that “when your garbage is picked up you lose all rights to it.” She then claims that it’s “important evidence.” At the waste disposal plant, Cecil and Tilarna begin to search for the bow. Cecil calls Kei informing him of the situation. Tilarna is able to use her sense to locate the bow in the massive trash heap.
The bow gets destroyed returning Tilarna and Kuroi to their bodies. As she returns to her body she being beaten by detective Hellmandes. She then beats him up and before she kills him Kei stops her. The next day, Kei and Tilarna attend a barbecue at Captain Zimmer’s house. On the television, Kei sees a news report regarding the mayor’s race. Mozeleemay, from episode 7 is still running as well. As Kei is watching, news breaks stating that the other candidate for mayor, Khan was shot. The shooter is a male Semanian named John Ennaji. The Captain thinks that Zelada may have been responsible by controlling John.
Turns out John Ennaji was already dead and his corpse was manipulated. A police officer calls Tilarna a “damn alien,” and when Kei confronts him he admits that due to being conservative and the killing of Khans he hates Semanian’s. Kei questions his logic, but Tilarna tells him to let it go. Captain Zimmer is disappointed that Zelada maybe involve as it may result in “ethnic strife.” Tilarna suggests they start with the basics, who gains from Khan death. I was originally, disappointed that the series ignored the events of episode 7, but now that they are going back to the mayor storyline I’m pleased.
Kei and Tilarna had to keep working on other cases right. Episode 8 was funny, even though the switched body concept was clique. I was annoyed at the decision by Tilarna to not tell Kei. Had she told him and Cecil earlier they wouldn’t have had so much trouble. Furthermore, at this point in the series they do value each other, so it doesn’t make sense to me that she would want his help. In a way, these last two episodes makes the world feel larger. Going to social events like the barbecue makes the world feel lived in. Regardless, the “racism” in this series is starting to feel more real. As Zelada’s plot unfolds, it will likely get much worst. As this arc continues I’m looking forward to the potential twists.
Hiyori offers Zoro her sword Enma and her brother’s sword Ame no Habakiri. Kawamatsu objects to giving a sword to a man of an unknown origin. Zoro agrees to the exchange. Law has managed to defeat Hawkins, cutting him in half and cutting off his hands. He asks what happened to the alliance Hawkins had with Kid and Apoo. It turns out that Apoo had betrayed them, having been working with Kiado all along. Kiado wanted to recruit the Supernovas for his crew. As Law leaves he speaks to a mysterious figure that enabled him to escape. Meanwhile, Luffy trains his Haki against a steel wall. Hyogoro tells him that he needs to increase his speed of his progression.
Elsewhere, Kin’emon contacts the Ship Maintenance Squad, the Weapon Preparation Squad, Sword Recovery Squad and the Rebel Commanders Squad to tell them of the altered secret Kozuki family message. Apoo tells Kiado that he’s arrived to attend the Fire Festival banquet, as he is looking forward to watching the annual Golden Kagura. Apoo and his crew-mate are joined by a large shadowy figure. On of the children nearby informs her friend that the figures are called “numbers.” Allies of the Beast Pirates, the Numbers are giant sized beings that have two horns and sharp teeth. According, to Queen they all have drinking problems.
Meanwhile, Big Mom and Kiado have decided that they are going to form a alliance to take over the world and kill each other later. The Fire Festival seems to be a perfect moment for the allies of the Shogun to meet. This would largely be for our benefit as we get to see how both sides stack up. I will say that so far it seems that Kiado’s side is more powerful. With the new alliance between Kiado and Big Mom and the introduction of the Numbers, they have gained some strength. However, the hidden figure that rescued Law may be the wildcard that proves me wrong.
The civilians panic as the satellite falls down. All samurai are ordered to “proceed to the planetary orbit.” They destroy many of the smaller pieces of the satellite, but it has splintered into too many. As the debris crashes into the planet, Daruma warns Ann and Hachimaru that if the satellite crashes into the planet the “whole planet is finished.” They have to fly out as well. As Lord Daruma and his Keyholder head out of orbit, the other samurai are told to step back or risk becoming “collateral damage.” Daruma asks Ann to “share her power with Hachimaru.” A princess’s prayer apparently increases the power of a samurai. Ann begins to pray.
Hachimaru and Daruma extract their keys, Daruma tells Hachimaru that he needs to repeat his movements. He doesn’t have time to teach Hachimaru how to do it properly, but Daruma uses Vajrayaksa Style Atmospheric Blade. It’s one of his most powerful techniques, but in his cat body he lacks the necessary power. This is why he needs the help of Ann and Hachimaru. With the body of a samurai, Hayatarou’s bone hilt and a divine blessing from Princess Ann, Hachimaru has achieve the “Trinity.” As the Samurai hope for their success, the other Princesses are concerned for Ann’s safety. Meanwhile, Nanashi watches with the other trainees. Hachimaru and Daruma create a powerful attack, obliterating the satellite. The civilians rejoice as they’re saved. Hachimaru’s body becomes emaciated after the attack.
However, Daruma tells him he’ll return to normal after some rest. With the trio already in outer space, Daruma tells them they’re just going to start their search for the other six keys. They head off beginning the next adventure. I’m surprised that Nanashi was left behind. While I’m sure they will continue to get stronger and meet with Hachimaru later, I though they would become part of the team. The series still remains inconsistent, moving too fast in my opinion. That said I just have to adjust my expectations. I still enjoy the series and hope that they slow down now that the introduction arc is over.
Two words “Jokerized Batman.” You really can’t go wrong with that. If you been following this challenge then you know Batman is my favorite DC superhero and the Joker is my favorite villain, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I love the “Batman Who Laughs.” Created by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, the Batman Who Laughs hopes to assist Barbatos (a Dark God), in “plunging the entire Multiverse into darkness.” He also wants to kill the Justice League, infect Gotham City with Dark Matter and end all life. He has managed to end life on Earth-22. Before becoming the Batman Who Laugh, he was the Batman of Earth-22. He was kidnapped and drugged by the Joker. The Joker went on to destroy Gotham, kill Jim Gordon (by dissolving him in acid), blew up several Gotham City buildings all while Batman watched.
Enraged, Batman broke free. He brutally beat the Joker and snapped his neck. A “nano-toxin” began to seep out of his mouth, resulting in Batman breathing it in. Even though the Joker managed to get Batman to “break his one rule,” Batman refused to become like him. In the Batcave, Superman tells Batman that one of the Jokerized children tore on of the doctors throats out, Batman laughs. The toxin slowly changes Bruce’s mind, becoming more and more Joker like. He eventually snaps killing the Bat Family with machine guns, then killing the Justice League (except Superman). After destroying most of the world, Batman meets Barbatos. He informs Batman about the “nature of the Dark Multiverse,” and asked him find his counterparts to form the Dark Knights.
When they arrive on Prime Earth, the Batman Who Laughs take over Gotham. He gives several of Batman’s enemies cards made of “Cosmic Metallurgy.” Theses cards allowed the supervillain to alter reality. They use these cards to take over parts of different areas of Gotham. The Batman Who Laughs thinks more like the Joker but with the logical aspects that made Batman so great. Basically Batman with the morals of the Joker. He’s brilliant, sadistic and arrogant. He believes he always can win against his enemies. He has all the training of the Batman from Earth Prime, knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of all the villains and superheros in DC. The Batman Who Laughs combines the two most influential characters in DC, Batman and the Joker, creating one of the most deadly villains in DC comics.
This episode introduces us to the dynamic and colorful Hashira. There are nine Hashira in all and they answer to Ubuyashiki Kagaya. We already meet Giyu Tomioka, the Water Hashira and Shinobu Kocho, the Insect Hashira. The new Hashira’s are Kyojuro Rengoku the Flame Hashira, Tengen Uzui the Sound Hashira who’s obsessed with flamboyance, Love Hashira Mitsuri Kanroji one of the two female Hashira’s with an unnecessary cleavage window, the constantly crying gentle giant, Stone Hashira, Gyomei Himejima.
Muichiro Tokito the Mist Hashira, he’s rather detached or indifferent. The Snake Hashira, Obanai Iguro the serious one with two colored eyes. Finally there’s Sanemi Shinazugawa, the Wind Hashira. He’s an asshole and I predict I might like him at some point. He’s covered in scars that appear to be self inflicted. He’s the most willing to kill Nezuko and Tanjiro. We finally get to see Ubuyashiki Kagaya the blind master. Generally, blind characters are exceptionally strong, I wonder if he is. Regardless, he’s very mild mannered and kind.
He asks the Hashira’s to accept Nezuko and Tanjiro. Surprisingly, due to the reverence they have for him, several of the Hashira’s continue to disagree. Even after reading the letter from Sakonji Urokodaki (in which we find out that Tanjiro, Giyu and Sakonji will commit suicide if Nezuko attacks a human) Sanemi still doesn’t care. He cuts himself, using his blood to try to get Nezuko to show her true self. He stabs her a few more times and opens the box. Nezuko steps out with an angered look on her face.
Someone from Company 1 is mysteriously talking in a phone booth to what he called the Evangelist. He says that there may be “some slight obstacles” to overcome. Captain Obi and Hibana go over her research. She tells him that some kind of insect is “introduced into a humans core,” creating Infernals. Hibana and Takehisa deduce that the culprit must be a Special fire soldier. Meanwhile, Shinra, Arthur and the others have breakfast. They head out to fight an Infernal after an alarm sounds. Unlike Company 5, Company 1 is large and well structured. Shinra and Arthur are told to stay put.
Shinra witnesses someone turn a man into an Infernal. He and Arthur gives chase, but run into Lieutenant priests Flam Karim and Hoshimiya Rekka. Clearly this implicates one of them as the culprit. Arthur and Shinra investigate the room of Karim. They find a insect in a bottle in his draw. Karim “catches” them, but tells them that he’s looking for the culprit as well. Apparently there was an incident that resulted in the harming of some children. Meanwhile, Tamaki brings some children to Rekka.
Clearly manipulating Tamaki, he knocks her out. Approaching the children, he tells them that he’s looking for the “pilot light.” He kills the mother of one of the children turning her into an Infernal with an insect. Rekka is sporadic and cruel. Tamaki awakens again and is shocked to find out that Rekka is creating Infernals. He knocks her out a second time. He then uses an insect on a little boy, however, he manages to survive. Rekka is happy to find that he has finally found someone compatible for the pilot light. Rekka approaches the other children as Tamaki call for help, alerting Shinra.
Rekka savagely stomps on Tamaki, before he kills her, Shinra arrives stepping on his face. Tamaki begins to cry, as Shinra asks if she’s alright. I wonder if it’s just me, but this series feels like it rushes through it’s arcs to quickly. It only took two episodes to find the culprit and I wouldn’t be surprise if Rekka was already defeated. As I always say, this series is apparently largely about the larger conspiracy. So far we haven’t had a great deal of information regarding the various factions in the series. I’m hoping that we get some more information on that.
Askeladd, Thorfinn and the rest of the vikings return home to their village in Jutland. Planning to spend the winter there, they return with the spoils won from the Frank battle. They’re welcomed back with open arms. Thorfinn and Askeladd’s duel is to occur here. As they begin to fight, Thorfinn appears to have an advantage. However, Askeladd being smarter, manipulates Thorfinn into becoming enraged. This results in Askeladd taking control of the duel and winning. Despite Thorfinn maturing he’s still just a child or teen. Regardless, he’s learned how to be violent but not how to fight smartly. He has much to learn before he can kill Askeladd.
As the men celebrate inside, Thorfinn is on the ship. While there he has a vision of his father. In this vision he’s reminded by his father that “no one has enemies,” and “a true warrior doesn’t need a sword.” It seems that Thorfinn may learn indirectly from his father’s wisdom. How long it takes is really the question. When he speaks to the slave girl, Hordaland, she asks him “if there is anything on the other side of the ocean.” She believes that there’s nothing in the world but wars and slave traders. Thorfinn tells her of Vinland, in this moment we are reminded that Thorfinn despite his brooding nature still has some compassion. After winter passes, the Danish army and Vikings begin their attack on England. Finally, we see some new characters mainly Canute and Thorkell.
Askeladd continues to prove that he’s more sophisticated than you think. While he’s willing to accept, commit and permit terrible acts, his morality is more complicated. His views on slavery were more nuanced than expected. He understands that everyone’s a slave to something. When talking to a kid about it, he says “It’s terrible. The guy who’s a slave to money holds a whip, and pretends to be the master of the slave he bought with his money. Everyone is a slave to something” Which begs the question “what is Askeladd a slave to?” We’ll probably find out the answer to that question later.
We finally get the final moments from Rui. Demon Slayer has established that only Muzan Kibutsuji is the true evil. While the demons he creates do monstrous things and must be stopped they were fundamentally human in the first place. Tanjiro is the demon slayer that understands this most, as his sister Nezuko, Tamayo and Yushiro are evidence that demon aren’t evil at their core. Rui’s background is like all the demons from before, tragic. Born in a frail body he could barely walk. Kibutsuji turned him into a demon, giving him a strong body. His father attempted to kill him. Rui killed him and his mother. He realizes that both his parents intended to commit suicide after they murdered him. Unfortunately, Rui is too late to notice that the bond he thought he never had with his parents, was severed by him.
Kibutsuji told him that it was his parent fault that they were killed for not accepting him. It’s an excuse that Rui never really believed but accepted it anyway. He missed his parents so much that his was never going to be satisfied by the fake family. In the present, Rui’s decapitated body falls just short of Nezuko and Tanjiro. Sensing the scent of grief from Rui, Tanjiro reaches out to Rui. Rui accepts that he will go to hell, never seeing his parents again. However, the seem to meet him in the afterlife. They promise to stay together, whether it’s in heaven or hell. Giyu steps on the remains of Rui, telling Tanjiro that he shouldn’t have sympathy for demons. He then realizes that he has encountered Tanjiro and Nezuko before. He does so just in time to stop Shinobu from killing Nezuko. Prepared to defend Nezuko and Tanjiro, he tells Tanjiro to run.
Shinobu is understandably confused by Giyu’s behavior. As Tanjiro is running he’s knocked to the ground by Tsuyuri, the girl from the Final Selection. Tanjiro tells Nezuko to flee, but is knocked out by Tsuyuri, who then pursues Nezuko. Meanwhile, Giyu has captured Shinobu in a head lock. Before things go too far, Kasugai crows arrive and inform everyone that they’re to take Tanjiro and Nezuko into custody. Inosuke, Zenitsu are to be brought to the Butterfly Mansion for further treatment. Finally, when Tanjiro awakens he’s treated to the sight of the Hashiras. I always thought that Tanjiro and Nezuko would come up against the rules of the corps and general prejudice against demons. I highly doubt she will be harmed, but I wonder if Tanjiro will be forced to leave the demon corps all together.
Cyclops assembles a team of Wolverine, Husk, Archangel, M, Marvel Girl, Nightcrawler and Mystique to infiltrate Orchis and destroy Mother Mold. Magneto and Xavier tell Cyclops that despite his fear and doubts, they will not let him die. That the “righteous” can’t die and will be transformed into “something immortal.” While I agree that mortal beings can earn some kind of “immortal,” through being remembered, it feels like Magneto and Xavier are being manipulative. Regardless, it doesn’t seem like Cyclops are likely to survive. Marvel Girl is concerned with the “human crew.” Despite not being soldiers, neither Wolverine or Cyclops consider them “innocent.”
Due to Power of X, we know that this team fail at their goal, stopping the creation of Nimrod. However, this doesn’t ruin anything as we still want to see how they fail or at least it doesn’t for me. In Hickman’s trademarked explainers, we learn how Sentinel’s progress from “Alphas” to becoming a Nimrod. Moira and Apocalypse believed that Nimrod is the “primal threat to the long-term survival of mutants.” From the stolen information they learn that a “Nimrod almost always occurs in conjunction with a Mother Mold.” Moira uses this information in her tenth life, which is why the X-Men aim to destroy Mother Mold now.
We’re given details on “Project Achilles.” A superhuman super-max prison, it houses on thirty criminals. Sabertooth is being processed with a new law called the “twelve strike rule,” which “supersedes intent.” While this fleshes out the world, it doesn’t seem that any of these new laws matter. I think it’s a waste of time, despite the epic display by the White Queen, Emma Frost. Meanwhile, at the Orchis Forge, Omega and Dr. Gregor prepare for Mother Mold to go online. However, the problem is that if Mother Mold could create “cold emotionless machines.” Dr. Gregor explains that they built the Forge with “control collars,” that will sent Mother Mold into the sun.
Another waste in my opinion is the attempt to humanize the human members of Orchis. They particularly focus on the married couple, Dr. Alia Gregor and Captain Erasmus Mendel. There’s not enough characterization to make you care about them and the sacrifice of Captain Erasmus. Anyway, the X-Men have managed to catch Orchis unprepared, will this advantage be enough. House of x #3 focuses on a smaller narrative than previous. The X-Men team formed to attack Orchis reminded me of the animated series from childhood (only without my faves Storm and Rogue). Professor X still comes across as cold and calculating to me, I still don’t trust him. The only thing missing from this issue is action, but the next issue promises to remedy that.
This episode is about showing off the might of the vikings. The King of Dane temporally halts the attacks for the winter, as Askeladd look for jobs raiding. They head to France. Askeladd plans on stealing the treasure from the French. He sends Thorfinn to negotiate on their behalf , giving him the additional goal of bringing him the head of a General. Thorfinn lets the Frankish General know that Askeladd wants to help for half of the spoils. The Frankish General agrees. Once the battle begins, Thorfinn rushes ahead to collect the head of the enemy commander.
Askeladd and the rest of the Vikings arrive in grand fashion. Carrying their boats overhead, rushing and yelling. It’s odd liking them considering that their murderous rapist, but I did enjoy their showmanship. One thing about this episode is it’s tone. It feels a little out of place in the very serious series. There wasn’t much character development in this episode, it’s not necessary but the episode did feel odd. Another factor was the French General Jabbathe. He had a frog like appearance and over the top personality. Also his first name is the first two words of “Jabba the Hut,” which is funny but ridiculous. Although now I’m primed to look for clever name puns. Regardless, Askeladd and the Vikings sail into the fort.
The slaughter the men and steal all the treasure. They escape on their ships, as Askeladd gloats about collecting all the spoils. Of course, Thorfinn gets his trophy. Thorfinn will get his duel. While he has mastered the art of killing, I’m not sure he’s ready for Askeladd just yet. The dynamic between Askeladd and Thorfinn is interesting. Despite his claim that he doesn’t care for Thorfinn, I think that Askeladd is as fond of him as he can be. He also seems to be string him along with the promise of a Duel. Is he doing this to make Thorfinn become a better warrior and to get something out of him? Or is there some other motive? This episode was out of place, but I still liked it.
In the “Special Fire Grand Cathedral 1,” Captain Leonard Burns has a meeting with his Lieutenant priests, Third-generation pyrokinetic, Huo Yan Li, Third-generation pyrokinetic, Rekka Hoshimiya and Second-generation pyrokinetic, Karim Flam. They discuss the “training exercise” the 5th and 8th Company engaged in. None of them seem to believe that the exercises were real, with Burns stating that “Obi id finally making his move.” It’s clear that the ruse orchestrated by the 8th didn’t work. Meanwhile, the 5th and 8th have their barbecue. Obi and Hibana have a discussion regarding the 5th. She tells him that only she will help, as the 5th is “paired with Haijima.”
Hibana claims that someone has been creating Infernals. They determine that this person is likely in the Shinjuku District, which is the jurisdiction of Company 1. They plan on starting an “undercover investigation.” Using a rookie training reassignment system, which allows “crew members in their first year of service to be temporarily assigned to other companies to broaden their experience.” He of course will be sending Shinra and Arthur. Hibana believes that it would appear “unnatural,” if only two men from the 8th are transferred, so she’ll sent some from her company and other companies as well.
Shinra, Arthur, Maki Oze, Takeru Noto (Company 2) and Toru Kishiri (Company 5) arrive at Company 1. Captain Burns offers a tour of the facilities, but Shinra challenges Burns to a sparring match. Captain Burns agrees. Takeru goes first against Rekka. Noto is a third-generation that has a fear of fire. He hoped that by joining the Fire Force, he would get his flames “put out.” He turns fire into missiles to what could be a devastating effect. However, Karim Flam extinguishes the missiles, after Rekka dodges them. Flam states that he uses “Thermo-Acoustic Cooling” that “converts the energy of flames into sound and then converts sound into cold.”
Shinra and Arthur take on Captain Burns together. Arthur’s sword does nothing against Burns arm, despite the fact that his sword could cut steel. He then extinguishes Arthur’s sword. Shinra doesn’t fare much better, his powerful attacks aren’t effective. Captain Burns ends that fight by stomping on the ground hitting Shinra in the stomach with an invisible attack. Rekka takes responsibility for the Arthur and Shinra. Company 1 seems formidable, and I don’t think that the 8th stands much of a chance against them. Burns already knows what Obi’s goal is. The only question is what side is he on.
Powers of X #3 focuses on a narrow story in this issue. We were originally lead to believe that the alliance between humans and machine was maintain to wipe out mutants. However, in this issue it’s revealed that machine have betrayed humans as well. In the Year One Hundred, in the “Temple of Concordance,” of the “Church of Ascendancy,” we witness a priest like figure presiding over a baptism of sorts. The priest asks the people to “reject your humanity.” He offers humanity “true evolution,” as they begin to transform a baby into a machine. During the ceremony the X-Men attack. I haven’t been familiar with Xorn, but i found him and his dark humor to be enjoyable. Of course Nimrod’s craziness continues.
He refuses to care about Church burning, leaving Omega to handle it. She arrives with several Sentinels. Meanwhile, Apocalypse arrives in the old machine data-bank with Wolverine (War) and Krakoa (Famine). They are detected by Nimrod, who intercepts them. At the Church, Omega and the Sentinels overwhelm Xorn, North and Rasputin. Cornered, Rasputin threatens to remove Xorn’s masks setting off his singularity. Omega calls her bluff. She removes his mask, killing the remaining X-Men and Omega. Apocalypse tells Wolverine he needs to take the crystal of information and leave. He initially refuses, but Apocalypse insists on him doing so. After, Krakoa and Wolverine leave Apocalypse takes on three Nimrods. As he fights the three Nimrods, Wolverine awakens Moira. He inserts the crystal into her chest, force feeding her the information the collected. He kills her, ending the ninth life of Moira.
I loved this issue. It wasn’t as game changing as previous issues but I liked the simplicity of it. Seeing Apocalypse do the hero’s sacrifice for the greater good is something I didn’t think I would ever see. I also liked the relationship between him and Wolverine. It at least appeared that they cared about each other. If there’s something I would complain about it’s first I wanted to see more of the fight between Apocalypse and Nimrod. Second I didn’t care that any of the X-Men died because due to the time travel elements it doesn’t seem to matter much. Each issue continues to be great and I can’t wait for the next one.