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In 2010, DreamWorks Animation released the film How to Train Your Dragon, inspired by a series of British children's books by Cressida Cowell. It told the tale of a spindly teenage Viking named Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, the son of the chieftain of the village of Berk. His attempt to hunt a dragon ends up causing him to befriend it, and the two end up saving their village and causing the Berk natives to rethink the creatures they feared and hated. 2014 saw the sequel, How to Train Your Dragon 2. In this one, Hiccup reunited with his long-lost mother and fought a mad conqueror.

How to Train Your Dragon has become a big franchise for DreamWorks, with short films, games, and a television series that lasted two seasons on Cartoon Network, but got four more on Netflix: DreamWorks Dragons: Riders/Defenders of Berk/Race to the Edge.

And now, the third and final film in the Dragons trilogy is coming: The Hidden World. And here's the trailer for it!

 

 

Ah, I like the flashback to the first movie. Really helps show how Hiccup and Toothless's relationship evolved over the years.

Hiccup's narration contrasts this. At the time of the flashbacks, dragons were numerous, many different species. But now...they seem to all be gone.

Hiccup is a Viking, so it makes sense he finally tries to grow out an epic Viking beard. Works for him.

Heh heh, dragon in the soup. But it's awesome showing Berk reaching this point. People and dragons living in harmony. Hiccup made one fine chieftain. Stoick the Vast would be proud.

Hey, Toothless found a lady friend. About time he got some romance in his life.

Nice work, Hiccup.

So, the Light Fury's flames can be portals. That's pretty handy.

That dragon world looks incredible.

And we meet the villain. He's packing an armada. That is one big armada.

So, this guy is the reason why Toothless is the last of the Night Furies, huh? Yeah, he's totally going to get a fiery sword where the sun don't shine.

Ha ha, Toothless's mating dance. It's so silly.

Well, this looks like it will be a fun movie. I loved the last two Dragons movies, and this looks like it will be an epic ending to the Trilogy. Can't wait for it!

About four months ago, I looked at the teaser for the sequel for the 52nd film in the Disney Animated Canon, Wreck-It Ralph. I loved the movie, and I was really excited to learn it got a sequel. Well, a proper sequel, not those direct-to-video sequels that some of those earlier Disney movies like Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Little Mermaid, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame got. Ralph is going to meet the Internet, and we're going to join him for the ride! Let's take a look at the trailer!

 

 

Ah, the Fix-It Felix arcade cabinet. Where it all started. You know, I am kind of curious. Was there a Fix-It Felix Senior? There had to be as there's a Junior. Or maybe it was done just to sound cool.

...you'd think that they'd spare a room in the big apartment building for Vanellope to stay in when she comes to visit. I mean, it's a big building. I get she and Ralph are friends and all, and she's a guest, but it doesn't seem quite right she's sleeping on a pile of bricks next to a stump. Seems wrong to me.

And she's sill a bit glitchy. I'm assuming that was leftover damage to her code when King Candy sabotaged the game's programming in the last movie that nobody's been able to fix.

Oh, Ralph. You poor naïve thing. You're going to hate the Internet after a while. Especially if you find the YouTube comments section.

I have to admit, I like the movie's visualization of the Internet as this gigantic city.

If you're wondering how Disney managed to get Amazon's permission to use their logo...it's Disney. Enough said.

Heh heh, the birds are Twitter.

I think I just saw a Super Mushroom from Super Mario Bros. there.

Heh heh, the search bar. That purple guy looks like he'd fit right in a 1960s cartoon. And that is pretty accurate of a search bar.

Hey, that's neat! Old-school Disney Princesses in 3D. Made the transition well.

Look at that. The Muppets, Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar. Disney owns those.

Don't be afraid, Vanellope! Stormtroopers can't shoot straight!

Whoa! Cinderella is hardcore! 

You know, Elsa would fit right in a Marvel comic. She has a tragic origin, and has actual superpowers.

Dang it Aurora, stop touching cursed pointy things!

Heh heh, Disney making fun of itself.

I wonder who that character is.

Oh, I can't wait for Thanksgiving. This movie is going to be a lot of fun. I loved the first Wreck-It Ralph, and this looks like it will be an epic sequel.

Happy Father's Day, everyone!

 

 

To all those with fathers and stepfathers, and the mothers who have to do double duty, I want to wish you a wonderful day today!

Celebrated on the third Sunday in June, Father's Day had a couple of parts to its origin. One of the origins of the tradition was from a memorial service for a group of miners who died in an accident in Monongah, West Virginia in 1907.

In 1910, Sonora Smart Dodd, daughter of a Civil War veteran, founded Father's Day in Spokane, Washington. She was inspired to find it by a sermon about Mother's Day. She wanted there to be a companion celebration for fathers and fatherhood. She originally intended it to be on June 5, her father's birthday. However, a celebration was unable to be prepared in time, so it became the third Sunday in June.

The celebration was not a big success at first, but Dodd would not give up. She had help from various trade groups, like men's retailers. It would lead the holiday to be derided at first as just a stunt to rack up sales, but the trade groups got the last laugh as the holiday ended up growing in popularity.

In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson would declare the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. In 1972, President Richard Nixon would sign an official Father's Day into law. You can find out more about its history right here.

Today, I treated my dad to dinner at the Chinese buffet in town. It was wonderful. The ham was really good.

Happy Father's Day, everyone. Families should be together to celebrate it, no matter where they came from.

In 2011, a new Spider-Man spun his webs for the first time: Miles Morales. First appearing in Ultimate Fallout #4 (August 2011), Miles was the new Spider-Man of the Ultimate Marvel Universe after the death of that world's Peter Parker. His adventures would be praised, and the character would be quite popular. He would actually become so popular, that when the Ultimate Universe was destroyed in 2015's Secret Wars event, Marvel would bring him to the mainline Marvel Universe, and he's been a part of it ever since, having adventures on his own and occasionally teaming up with the adult Peter Parker of the main MU.

Miles himself would go on to appear in toys, and cartoons. The character would also be given a nod to as well in the MCU, as a minor criminal that Spidey catches is revealed to be Aaron Davis, who is Miles's uncle. In a nice bit of serendipity, Davis was played by Donald Glover, who was one of the inspirations behind Miles.

In 2015, an animated film focusing on Miles as Spider-Man was announced, which I looked at the teaser for here. But now, there's a full-blown trailer for the film, which will be released in December. Let's take a look!

 

 

I love how the film looks already. The animation style is incredible.

I also like Miles himself already, and I also already like Shameik Moore's voice. It feels like it fits him.

Poor Miles. A parent can be embarrassing, but even worse when they're a cop.

Wow. The Green Goblin there is huge. Norman Osborn really needs to cut back on the steroids. I can't imagine how a man that bulky can move at all.

I like the little detail of Peter and Miles's Spider-Senses reacting to each other.

The usage of comic panels there looks really cool.

You know, when I first heard they were bringing Miles to the main Marvel Universe, I was hoping that we'd see Peter take a mentor role to Miles. This was...not quite what I had in mind. But gotta show no matter what the universe, Peter has his Parker luck.

Well, to be fair Miles, he may not be able to impart much on keeping your life together, but you'll get plenty of web-swinging tips from him.

Peter's right, Miles. You can only be you. Both of you can be Spider-Man, just in different ways.

That bit of Miles leaping off the skyscraper is incredible. And I get the feeling his hoodie Spidey suit will be a popular look.

And we may see both Spider-Men fighting the Prowler, most likely the Aaron Davis one, considering Miles is the focus here.

Little flash of Miles using his power to turn invisible. Nice.

I wonder if Jefferson Davis would regret that speech if he knew Miles was Spider-Man.

Heh heh, having a cop parent can be real embarrassing, Miles. But don't feel bad, you still got superpowers.

HOLY COW SPIDER-GWEN!

Well, this seems like it will be a fun film. My only complaint about the trailer isn't that it doesn't seem to hint in anyway what this big multiversal threat is as Miles mentions parallel universes a few times. Maybe it's the Steroid Goblin? I'm not sure. The trailer emphasizes Peter and Miles's interactions, and that was the big strength. It's great seeing the veteran hero impart some wisdom to his younger legacy. This film seems like it will be a lot of fun, and as a Spider-Fan, I cannot skip this!

In 1959, DC Comics put out a little comic on the newsstands: Showcase #22 (October 1959). It was an all-new all-different Green Lantern. The original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, was an engineer who got his powers from a ring and magic lantern. After the success of the new Flash, Barry Allen, Julius Schwartz wanted to revamp another hero for the then-modern 1950s. Drawing upon his owen love of science fiction, and no doubt the Space Race that was big news at the time (The Russians kicked it off with the launch of Sputnik only a couple of years earlier), he enlisted to of his regular team, writer John Broome and artist Gil Kane, to modernize the character.

The reconceived the Green Lantern as Harold "Hal" Jordan, a cocky test pilot who is inducted to the Green Lantern Corps, a group of interstellar police officers who fight criminals throughout the universe. They use a special ring that allows a Corpsman to use their willpower to create constructs of green energy. The concept has been compared to E.E. Smith's Lensman series, although Schwartz has denied any connection. The Lensman series has been homaged in later stories focusing on the Corps, mainly through the GLs named Arisia and Eddore.

Hal would be a stalwart of the DCU for decades, being one of the original founders of the Justice League, and a member for many years. He would retire for a while, sitting out Crisis on Infinite Earths, but would ringsling again. In 1993, in his grief over the destruction of Coast City in the Reign of the Supermen storyline Hal lost his mind, decimate the Green Lantern Corps, and become the villainous Parallax in the controversial Emerald Twilight storyline, with Kyle Rayner being the sole Green Lantern for some years.

He would become the main villain in the Zero Hour crossover, but Hal would redeem himself by giving his life to save the world and reignite the sun in the Final Night crossover, which would lead to him becoming the Spectre, picking up that mantle from Jim Corrigan during the Day of Judgment storyline.

In 2004, Hal Jordan would be restored to life and made a Green Lantern again in Green Lantern: Rebirth. This would also signal the return of not just Hal, but the Green Lantern Corps. His origin story would be revamped, and ever since, Hal has shined his emerald light in the name of justice.

So, with all of that out of the way, let's take a look at Green Lantern #7!

 

 

The cover is pretty cool. It depicts Hal Jordan blasting people with his power ring, turning them invisible. He's thinking about this being the only way to prevent a disaster.

"The Day 100,000 People Vanished!"

Writer: John Broome

Penciler: Gil Kane

Inker: Joe Giella

Letterer: Gaspar Saladino

Colorist: Unknown

Editor: Julius Schwartz

The story begins with a full-page shot of Hal Jordan flying through a city. Nothing unusual...well, for the lack of people. The story begins properly in the morning in Valdale, an average American city. People are hustling and bustling, starting their day. But this ordinary day will take an odd turn.

 

 An aurora-esque light pattern is in the sky, a thunderclap is heard, and the people just...vanish. Literally just...vanish. This city, in the blink of an eye, has become a ghost town. Hal Jordan flies back to Ferris Air, completely baffled. His confidant and friend, Thomas "Tom" Kalmaku, asks if he found anything. Hal scanned the area thoroughly with his power ring, but it revealed no clues. The ringslinger then realized something.

The disapperances happened shortly after 9 AM, and Hal was supposed to be there to help open a "Boys Settlement House", a sort of place where the less fortunate could live. I can imagine he was meant to be there as Green Lantern. Hal was working another case so he couldn't make the ceremony, but it was lucky that he had to cancel. Tom realizes how lucky Hal was. If he had made it, he'd be among the people in Valdale that vanished. Hal seems to blank out for a bit, but the feeling fades quickly.

However, it turns out that his "astral self" was summoned to Oa, a planet in the center of the universe, and the home of the Guardians of the Universe. They summoned him because there's a great emergency. This summoning is kind of weird since it seems like the Guardians don't want to interfere with Hal's life, but it does confuse me. Did they create an energy duplicate of Hal to talk to him? Why not just speak to him through his ring on Earth?

Anyway, the Guardians explain that generally, Lanterns are picked after careful testing. It's hilarious because they are saying this to Hal Jordan, who was literally given a power ring by his dying predecessor. But despite this so-called testing, a bad apple can find it way in. One of them was Sinestro, the GL of sector 1417, which contained his homeworld of Korugar. You'd think the man's name alone would make someone think that he might not be the best of people.

Sinestro was good at his job. He turned out to be a darn fine Green Lantern, but the power he now had in his possession started to corrupt him. He built himself a headquarters that was opulent. People went to him for help with their problems, but he would only help people would could give him interesting adventures, much like Sherlock Holmes would only take cases that interested him.

 

 

Eventually, he made himself into Korugar's tyrannical ruler, and the Guardians had had enough of his antics. The Guardians bring him back to Oa, and strip him of his ring and power battery. They then punish him by exiling him to the world of Qward, in a universe based on anti-matter. And with that, they thought the matter was settled. But Sinestro found a way to continue being a menace to the universe. The Guardians show Hal footage of him on Qward, giving a speech to the Weaponers of the world.

Sinestro has developed a teleportation device powerful enough to transport entire cities from the matter universe. Using "super-radar", he has discovered that Green Lantern is due to appear in Valdale. He will use the teleporter to transport the city (with GL in it), to Qward. ...if Sinestro can track Green Lantern, why not just transport him when he's gone out in civilian clothes or something?

Back on Earth, Hal recovers from his dizzy spell (presumably the Guardians returning his "astral self" to him), and flies off. Hal heads to Coast City, his hometown. His ring detects a sealed aperture, an opening that allows one to go to Qward. Hal then develops a plan. He uses his ring to turn everyone in Coast City invisible. He's doing this to get the attention of Sinestro. You know, a simpler way could have been just for Hal to fly out in the middle of the desert and yell out jokes about Sinestro's mother into the air. Sinestro's "super radar" would pick him up anyway. I think modern Hal would do this.

Hal's plan, crazy as it is, actually does work. The Emerald Warrior is transported to the anti-matter universe, and the people of Coast City are visible again. Upon his arrival, the Weaponers of Qward attack him, but a green forcefield kept Hal safe. Sinestro demands that he surrender, or else he will destroy Valdale and everyone in it. Hal agrees, not wanting to risk the lives of everyone in the city. Hal thinks that he didn't consider Sinestro would hold the city hostage. Evidently, Hal being portrayed as an idiot is nothing new.

Hal demands that he will not surrender until Sinestro agrees to return the city and its people to Earth safe and sound again. Sinestro surprisingly agrees and returns the city and its people to Earth. Hal keeps his end of the bargain and allows Sinestro to place him in a bubble of yellow energy. Keep in mind, at this point, Sinestro did not have his yellow ring yet.

Being a former GL himself, Sinestro knows that the rings will only work as long as they are charged. So, they'll simply wait for the ring's charge to wear off...which will happen at 6:00. With Hal's ring dead, the Weaponers can finish him off. The Weaponers say they'll make Sinestro a chieftain for this, and he quite likes the idea. Hal has to get out, but how? He then notices something. His ring has been picking up atomic vibrations from the clock. The test pilot gets an idea.

The hour has come. The energy bubble releases a seemingly powerless Hal. Sinestro fires an energy gun at him, but Hal has a surprise for him.

 

 

Yup. Hal nails Sinestro in the mouth with a green beam. Nowadays, Hal would do it with a good ol' fashioned Air Force fist. Hal likes punching people. Sinestro is shocked by this, as Hal's charge should have worn out. Hal explains that he realized that even though his ring could not break the yellow bubble, the bubble was not airtight. He also realized the vibrations that his ring was picking up came from the clock...an atomic clock. The Emerald Gladiator was able to use his ring to send carbon dioxide molecules from his breath to the clock, making the clock run fast by speeding up the atomic mechanism. With that Hal gets the villains all wet thanks to a big green tidal wave.

Sinestro taunts Hal by reminding him that GLs are not allowed to kill, and since the Guardians already exiled him here, there's nothing else Hal can do. The test pilot traps the tyrant in a bubble, and heads for home. You know, Hal, all they would have to do to break that bubble is to paint a pin yellow and poke it. Hal makes it back to the matter universe with only seconds of ring-power left.

The story ends with Green Lantern making it to the rescheduled opening ceremony, telling the young boys there that good will always triumph over evil.

 

 

Yeah, this story does have a lot of problems. How Hal escapes is rather silly. There was no way his plan should have worked, power ring or otherwise. It's also a bit complicated to me. I'm not sure why. Also, why didn't the Guardians just contact Hal through his ring? Why do that weird astral projection stuff? Just because they can? I don't get it. Despite all of that, this still is really an important story because it introduces Sinestro, a character that would become rather important to the GL mythos, especially in recent years. Notice that he's missing something? Yeah, he didn't get his yellow ring yet. That won't be until issue nine. So, I would recommend reading it for the historical importance, and if you are a big GL fan. But I think it's not the best GL story out there.  

Gil Kane's art here looks much different from the art he did in DC Comics Presents Annual #3. His figures are sleeker, and there's less lines on the faces. Of course, this was 1961, and the 1984 Annual featured art from an older Kane whose art style clearly had evolved since then. It is neat to see how his art had changed in the intervening 23 years. I do like the figures of 80s Kane, but I think his 60s work is much cleaner and lacks the excess lines.

This comic also has another story that focused on Tom Kalmaku, but it was not included in the trade. If I can find it, I'll include it in an update.

I got the scans from this story from the 2008 trade paperback Green Lantern: In Brightest Day, which collected a set of Green Lantern tales chosen by Geoff Johns. It has some great stories in it, if you find it, get it. One of my personal favorites in it is Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's "Tygers".

Next time, we travel to a dark corporate-ruled future where the wage slaves hope for a hero with a hammer...and a young man named Dargo Ktor must answer the call and become the Thor that world needs...

In 2014, Warner Bros. Pictures unleashed The LEGO Movie. It received much critical praise and made nearly $470 million at the box office. It also won several awards, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song ("Everything is Awesome"). It also got a couple of spin-off movies: The LEGO Batman Movie, and The LEGO Ninjago Movie. In 2019, the film is going to get a proper sequel: Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. And here's the trailer!

 

Is this a nod to Mad Max/Planet of the Apes? Because the Statue of Liberty makes me think of Apes.

Oh my God. Those maniacs! They unleashed Taco Tuesday! YOU ABSOLUTE MADMEN! HOW COULD YOU?!

Wow. The LEGO world has turned into a postapocalyptic hellhole that would make George Miller proud, and Emmet is still Emmet.

Wait...did those Duplo figures from the last movie cause this?!

Emmet is really in denial, huh? I get he wants to be optimistic and make the best of a bad situation, but sheesh!

Heh heh, "Intergalactic" by the Beastie Boys. Look up the music video for it. It's awesome.

Heart Bomb. I've heard of killing with kindness, but that is just taking it to an insane new level.

Emmet, you are not helping with the turn signals.

Meet Sweet Mayhem, the villain of the piece. She looks cool.

Heh heh, Batman got stickered.

Chris Pratt is going back to space. Can we count this as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?

To be fair, Wyldstyle, that is mighty impressive.

Well, this seems like fun. I loved the original LEGO Movie, so I can't wait to see what happens next to our heroes!

On August 4, 1972, the film Super Fly was released. Directed by Gordon Parks Jr., it starred Ron O'Neal as Youngblood Priest, an African American cocaine dealer who was trying to quit the drug business. This film would become one of the most famous films of the Blaxploitation genre. The film was known for its soundtrack that was produced by the late Curtis Mayfield. It was also known for employing a crew that was primarily non-white (a rarity for Blaxploitation), and was funded by numerous black-owned businesses.

The film is regarded as a classic, but it did get negative reception from African-Americans at the time, as it was felt that that this and other films in the genre were feeding a negative image of African-American people. Despite this, the filmmakers insisted that the film was meant to show that the drug culture was empty and terrible.

The film was a success, making roughly $4 million, and leading to two sequels: 1973's Super Fly T.N.T., in which O'Neal reprised his role as Youngblood Priest, and 1990's The Return of Superfly, in which the role of Youngblood was taken up by soap star Nathan Purdee. Both the sequels were critical and commercial failures. However, this year, Superfly is getting a reboot, starring Trevor Jackson as Youngblood. And here is the trailer!

 

 

 Was that Rick Ross? Looks like Rick Ross.

Is that Trevor Jackson's voice? He sounds like he smokes ten packs a day.

Ah, Atlanta. Home of the Civil Rights Movement, Coca-Cola, and the Braves.

Ah, the old cliché, glittering major metropolitan city has a dark side. Gotta love it.

Superfly got super-tech. Get with the times or get left behind.

Fight! Fight! Fight!

Ah, so this version is going to the do the whole "one last score" bit. Maybe they can call Scott Lang for some tips. I'm sure they'd find some Pym Particles rather useful.

This film seems to me like it will be one of those films that you can just turn off your brain and enjoy for a couple of hours. It may not revolutionize the genre, and people will complain about remakes, but I'll give it a shot. Honestly, I never saw the original, but after seeing this, I do want to.

In 1988, R. Talsorian Games published a little tabletop role-playing game known as Cyberpunk. The game, inspired by cyberpunk authors like William Gibson, the game was set in the year 2013 in the fiction Night City, California. Night City was a dystopian metropolis, ruled by various megacorporations and private military companies. The Cyberpunk series was a popular one, having further gone into novels, further rulebooks pushing this world forward story-wise, collectible card games, and yes, video games. CD Projekt Red has announced they are making a game for the series for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The game? Cyberpunk 2077. And here's the teaser trailer for it!

 

I like that subway map. So shiny and colorful.

Heh heh, I remember Bob Chapman (aka MovieBob) saying that fictional dystopian futures will always have an 80s aesthetic to it. Well, to be fair, the 80s aesthetic is awesome.

I hope the soundtrack has a lot of good Retro New Wave. I really have been enjoying that lately.

Wow. Even after sixty years, Night City is still a lousy place to live. This is why elections matter.

They totally took the holographic women from Blade Runner 2049. I still have to see that movie.

So the city is like a siren, huh? Lulling people there with false promises of glory and greatness just to make them crash. I can imagine some also go there for the adventure. A city like Night City is bound to have many adventures for the thrillseeker in your life.

It would be a cyberpunk dystopia without cyborgs. AW GEEZ WOMAN, PUT YOUR MOUTH ON! THAT IS CREEPY!

...I want that robot dog thing. Would make a handy pet.

Heh heh, robo-rednecks. "Ah'll teach yew ta interface wit' muh sister! Buford! Get mah laser boomstick!"

Don't you hate it when you're relaxing in a plane and some dude's head suddenly shoots sparks?

Shooty shooty shooty, blood blood blood. And oil. And maybe some sick.

I want that car. Hope it has good gas mileage.

What is that song in the trailer?

Well, this seems like a ton of fun. Since I got a PS4, I'll give this a shot. It looks really cool, and I do like the bits of retro aesthetic

Bumblebee. One of the most popular characters in the Transformers franchise. In case you didn't know, Bumblebee was a small yellow heroic Autobot who was a very capable spy and scout. The most iconic incarnation of the character came from the original 1980s Transformer cartoon and toy line, in which his alternate mode was based on a Volkswagen Beetle and was portrayed as sort of a "little brother"-type who admired the Autobot leader Optimus Prime.

Much like many other popular Transformers characters, Bumblebee would appear or be homaged in various incarnations of the franchise. Most notably, he's a character in the Michael Bay-helmed live-action Transformers movies. Notably, his vehicular form was switched from the Volkswagen Beetle to a Chevrolet Camaro (According to Michael Bay himself, the change was made because he felt Bumblebee's classic vehicle form made him seem too much like Herbie the Love Bug). He played a major role in the first movie, being among the first Autobots to make contact with humans. At least, until the other films went crazy.

Considering the popularity of the character, it's no surprise that he would get a spinoff film focused on him. This film is said to be a prequel to the first Transformers movie, set in the 1980s. Eh, why not? These films played fast and loose with history. So, for my first blog entry back from my Vegas vacation, let's take a look at the teaser trailer!

 

 

Trying to make Bumblebee look a bit angelic, I see.

Say hello to our protagonist, Charley Watson. She's the Spike Witwicky of this movie. Transformers fans will get this joke.

I like the nod to the first film with the usage of Bernie Mac's voice and lines from the first movie. Helps establish a connection. And the little beehive is probably how she names the car "Bumblebee".

Yup, Bee has seen better days if parts are falling off him.

I wonder if one could tell a horror story with the Transformers.

I have to admit, I like Bumblebee's look here.

This part with Bumblebee cowering is actually pretty good. Bumblebee has been portrayed as the "kid brother", so this sells the idea that as freaked out Charley is, he himself is just as scared. He's a young Autobot presumably alone on a strange planet.

JOHN CENA. *cue "The Time is Now"* He plays one of the film's antagonists, a Sector 7 agent named Burns. Guessing this is his way of turning heel.

HOLY COW, STARSCREAM!

Bumblebee's face armor makes him look insect-like. Sticking to the theme. Clever.

I take it he's no fan of Rick Astley. I have heard this was set in the 80s, but it doesn't seem that way to me. Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" was from 1987, and Bumblebee's altmode is the classic-style Beetle (finally), and Charlie gives him a cassette tape, but otherwise that, it seems like it could be set today. Maybe it's just me.

I have heard people say this film has Iron Giant vibes, and I can believe it. Kid befriends an alien robot. You can get a great story out of that. However, I feel this film is a bit of a missed opportunity. This would have been a great reboot of the Transformers film franchise. Considering the response to the last few Transformers movies, a reboot would have been a great way to jolt some new life into it. But despite that, this film sounds fun. I'll give it a looksee when it comes out.

Han Solo. One of the Galaxy's greatest smugglers, he would eventually become of the Star Wars universe's greatest heroes. But, how did he get his start? How did he become the man we know from the Original Trilogy. Well, Solo: A Star Wars Story promises to explain how this happened. Did it fly high or crash and burn? Let's find out!

Han Solo was a young man from the planet Corellia who dreamed of flying. However, he was trapped in debt to a local crime boss and was determined to escape with the girl he loved. As part of his attempt to flee, he joins the Imperial Military Academy hoping to fly. While there, he joins a crew of thieves and begins his life as a criminal outlaw.

Alden Ehrenreich picks up the iconic blaster of Han Solo. I have to say, he does do an alright job portraying a younger Solo, but I do feel he didn't quite broadcast the cynical nature the character is supposed to pick up at the end of the movie. But he is still fun to watch.

Another strong point of the film is Donald Glover, who is taking up the role of Lando. He is definitely one of the film's strongest points, as his Lando is amusing as anything. I also loved the character L3-37, voiced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. She was a hoot. I also enjoyed seeing Paul Bettany as the villainous crime lord Dryden Vos. His character was the standard "affable villain", but he was just so delightful in the role. Emilia Clarke brings a seductive charm to her role of Qi'ra, Han's thief love interest.

The film does feel a bit uneven in places, but that is mainly due to the behind-the-scenes chaos during the filming (Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the original directors of the film, were fired part way due to "creative differences" leading to Ron Howard taking over the directors' chair). There are plenty of twists in the film's story. It does make sense, considering that this film focuses on the Star Wars universe's underworld, where trust is cheap. There was also a character appearing that shocked me. I'm not spoiling it.

So, should you see Solo? Well, I say give it a look. It doesn't add a lot to the overall story of Star Wars, but it does maintain a tradition of the franchise: Giving everything a back story. It's got great action and laugh-out-loud moments, and it's a nice breather from the previous heavier film, The Last Jedi. It's a fun way to kill a couple extra hours.

Heh heh, looks like I did manage to put out one more journal entry before my trip to Las Vegas after all. I hope you all enjoyed it. See you all in about a week!

Zatanna. One of the DC Universe's premier magical-based superheroes. The mighty backwards-speaking spell-casting mage has been a long-standing member of the Justice League, had solo adventures, and has appeared in numerous media. Most notably, in Batman: The Animated Series, in which it was established her father, the Golden Age character Giovanni "John" Zatara, was one of the future Batman's teachers (mainly in escape artistry), and in Smallville, portrayed by Serinda Swan.

In 1964, DC was having some success revamping some of its older characters for a new generation of comic readers. Their revival of the Flash as forensic scientist Barry Allen ushered in the Silver Age of Comic Books in 1956. In 1959, Green Lantern's light shone again as test pilot Hal Jordan. 1961 saw the return of the Atom as shrinking scientist Ray Palmer, and appropriate for this entry here, Hawkman was reborn as alien police officer and prince-turned-Earth museum curator named Katar Hol, who took the name of "Carter Hall" as a nod to his Golden Age predecessor.

At the time, editor Julius Schwartz had built a team of writers and artists he liked to work with: writers Gardner Fox and John Broome, and artists Mike Sekowsky, Murphy Anderson, Carmine Infantino, Gil Kane, and Sid Greene. This team had successfully revamped several Golden Age characters in the past, so who was next? Well, why not Zatara? After all, the magician had appeared in many adventures from 1938 until 1951 (He first appeared in Action Comics #1, but was quickly overshadowed by a certain blue-and-red spandex-wearing super-strong super-tough guy), and Gardner Fox had written pretty much most, if not all, of those stories.

Instead of outright reviving the missing sorcerer, they decided to create a story in which Zatara had vanished, but his newly-introduced daughter Zatanna was on the case. They also decided to do something a little different. Instead of having Zatanna's search for her father be wrapped up in one issue, why not spread it across several issues of different books, allowing her to team up with multiple heroes? Yup, Zatanna's Search innovated the multi-title crossover. The first superhero she would encounter in this innovative event was Hawkman, in whose book she made her debut.

So, with all of that out of the way, let's take a look at Hawkman #4!

The cover is pretty cool. It shows Hawkman falling towards a car with little lightning bolts falling out of it. It's a well-drawn cover, drawn from the book's second story, which I do not have (more on that later).

"The Girl Who Split in Two!"

Writer: Gardner Fox

Artist: Murphy Anderson

Inker: Murphy Anderson

Colorist: Unknown

Letterer: Unknown

Editor: Julius Schwartz

The story begins with a woman crashing into Katar Hol's office in the Midway City Museum. She's a guide who had been working in the wing of the museum specializing in Asian artifacts. However, one showed up that she had never seen before, and this confuses Katar. How did that artifact get there? Nothing gets displayed without his approval, and it has been weeks since he registered a new exhibit. The guide shows him the statue.

Katar identifies it as a statue from China's Shang Dynasty. But it's not the only strange new artifact. A Celtic ceremonial cup has appeared in the Irish exhibit. He takes the exhibits and shows them to Shayera Hol, his wife, and the winged heroine called Hawkgirl and in the future, Hawkwoman. And since this was a comic from the 1960s, she was the secretary. Katar tells her about the artifacts' mysterious arrival, and Shayera thinks that maybe Hawkman and Hawkgirl should investigate. Hawkman heads to China, while Shayera hits green, green fields of Ireland.

Hawkman somehow manages to fly to China, and goes towards the Henan province. The book misspells it as "Honan". A group of men spot the Winged Warrior, and fear that he's come to loot the city of Yin. They fire on Hawkman, forcing him to dive behind a wall. Shayera kept nagging him to put on a shirt, but Hawkman just has to show off just how jacked he is. Hawkman pulls out a 17th century grenade launcher from his belt, and uses it to fire some rocks at the men. He then flaps his wings, creating a dust cloud. Hawkman prepares to take the bandits to the local authorities when he sees this.

A confused Hawkman thinks it's a statue at first, until he realizes that it's a young woman, stiff as a board and talking in words that seem to be missing letters. He figures he can puzzle over the artifacts later, this woman needs some help. Meanwhile, in Ireland, Hawkgirl is flying near an ancient abbey. A group of criminals who have holed up there have spotted her, and fear she was sent by Scotland Yard to catch them. Not wanting to take any chances, they try to shoot down the Pinioned Policewoman. Should've brought your mace, Shayera.

Shayera wonders if the goblet was part of a trap. She grabs a slab of paving stone and uses it as a makeshift shield. She smacks two of the men with the stone (That would hurt), and then deals with the third with a dropkick. She spies a woman standing stiffly, mumbling strange half-words.

Shayera discovers the woman is alive, and takes her up to their spaceship in geosynchronous orbit over Midway City to run some tests. The devices on the ship don't help out much, not revealing anything about the mysterious tuxedo-wearing lady. Hawkman arrives with the girl's seeming twin, much to Shayera's shock. They then make a discovery about the twin girls' odd speech.

It turns out that the mysterious speech of the twin girls are actually half-words. Put them together, and it's revealed that the "twins" are actually one woman that was somehow split in half. Thanks for the spoiler, title. The woman is Zatanna Zatara, daughter of the magician/superhero Giovanni "John" Zatara. She needs to be put back together. The Hawks push the two Zatannas together, and the sorceress explains that Zatara had disappeared some years ago, and she had sent out to find him. She also has followed in his footsteps as a stage magician/crimefighter. Hawkgirl uses that Zee's usage of magic is why her Thanagarian machines couldn't help Zee.

Zatanna had gone into a mystical trance in an attempt to locate her father, and she found him in the lost city of Yin...and at the Hill of Tara in Ireland. Zatanna is unsure of which vision is the true one. She also recalled of two menaces her father was trying to go after, a nameless Asian villain, and a being called the Druid.

In Zatanna's haste to find her father, she mystically split herself in half so she could investigate both places at once. However, despite her studies of her father's magical techniques, she overestimated her own skills and power. Her two halves ended up appearing in China and Ireland, but they ended up in places where groups of criminals were hiding out...and Zee herself was left immobile and nearly powerless. In China, the bandits didn't notice her. The criminals in Ireland did find one of her halves, but luckily for her, the men felt that she was harmless. Zee had to use most of her remaining power to teleport some artifacts from those areas to Midway City, hoping the Hawks would notice them and investigate.

Hawkman wonders why she chose the Midway City Museum, and Zee explains she knew the Hawks would help her if she sent them there thanks to her magic. This, understandably, makes Hawkgirl suspicious. She wonders if that means Zee knows about their secret identities. Hawkman outright asks if Zee knows who they are, but gets a mischievous smile in response and a suggestion to leave things the way they are. Yeah, I get the idea she did know their identities, but how she found that out is not revealed. How did she find out is my question. Did she use magic?

Zee wants to continue on her search, and Hawkman suggests that they could help. Using the Absorbascon (A Thanagarian device that allows the Hawks to read minds. This was how the Hawks were able to learn about Earth cultures and customs so they could live among humans without raising suspicions they were aliens), Hawkman scans for Zatara's mental signature...but finds nothing. Nobody knows of him, or knows where he is.

A horrified Zee thinks that means Zatara is dead. Earlier in the story, Hawkgirl was unable to help Zatanna due to her being a magician...maybe that's why the Absorbacon can't find Zatara. He may be mystically hidden away, and the Absorbacon can't detect magic. Would make sense. But instead, Hawkman suggests that maybe Zatara is alive, but amnesiac. Because...reasons. He tells Zee that if there's anything they can do to help, just let them know. Zee vanishes, out to continue her search, which she will in Detective Comics #336 (February 1965). Hawkgirl wonders if they'll see her again. Heh heh, they'll be in the Justice League together in the future.

The story ends with the Hawks heading back to Earth, planning to return the artifacts to their countries of origin, hoping the governments of those countries don't ask how they got there. They'd never believe it. Considering those artifacts are being returned to them by a pair of alien cops dressed as birds in a universe that has a superpowered alien, a superfast guy, an Amazon, the King of Atlantis, and an Earthman becoming a part of a group of space cops...I'd believe it if I was a government official.

Before I give my verdict, I want to fully disclose something. The scans for this come from the 2004 trade paperback JLA: Zatanna's Search. The trade has the story that introduced Zatanna. However, the actual comic (which I do not have), has a second story: "The Machine that Magnetized Men". The trade does not have that story. As such, I can only judge this story.

And as for the story, I think it's a bit thin and overly basic. It's short, but it's better a thin story be short than stretched really long. Zatanna is the primary focus, which is fine, as the whole purpose of the story is to introduce her. We also do get a bit of snippets of her personality, mainly that she's a bit of a daddy's girl, and she can be rather eager and impulsive. Despite this, Zee is shown to be a rather nice person, although I am wondering how she knew how to summon the Hawks. At least she has the decency to not go babbling the Hawks' identities. But I did like the nod to Chinese history here. Gardner Fox was a bit of a polymath, and his works often referenced various topics.

Murphy Anderson turns in some fine artwork here, with an amazing amount of detail. It's utterly beautiful, and I can't help but think that Anderson could be one of the more underrated artists of the Silver Age. People talk about Kirby and Ditko a lot, but I don't think Anderson is mentioned as much. Based on his art here, that's a shame.

If you want to read this for yourself, I recommend the 2004 trade JLA: Zatanna's Search. It collects the whole crossover, and it also includes a short story from DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #5 (December 1980) that detailed the origins of her father Zatara. It took a while to figure out which comic it was from as the trade didn't say.

This'll likely be my last journal entry for about a week. I'm heading off to Las Vegas for my sister's wedding, so I won't be able to write anything for a little while. But I shall return, so don't any of you worry! When I return, my next comic review will keep us in DC's Silver Age! We'll join Hal Jordan as he battles Sinestro for the first time...

Well, Street Fighter V's Season 3 is still going! We have some veteran characters returning, but in this case, we got a brand-new lethal lady joining the ranks! Say hello to Falke!

 

 

 Much like Cody, Falke uses a weapon: a quarterstaff. Actually, it's a buck-and-a-quarter-quarterstaff, but she's not going to tell anyone that. Points if you get the joke. It's also called "Harmony". I wonder why it got that name.

Based on her uniform, I think we can assume she may be connected to Shadoloo, the big evil criminal organization in the Street Fighter series. This game is set between III and IV (yeah, I know, from what I understand, the Street Fighter timeline is a bit of a mess), so I believe at that point, Shadaloo had collapsed. She and another character, Ed, were created to be clone bodies for the series' big bad, M. Bison, but they decided, "Screw that, we're doing our own thing." So, she's a clone made for evil, but rebels. She and Laura Kinney would get along rather well.

I think it's pretty cool she can shoot energy from her staff like it's a rifle.

I wonder what "Staerken" means. Is it German? Falke is a German/Nordic name (It means "falcon", and she's called the Guardian Hawk), and the character is supposed to be German...

"Psycho Angriff" ...Angriff? What's that? Well, "Angriff" means attack in German. So, it's not some weird translation thing.

FORE!

Her Story Costume feels to me like it should be a reference to something. And her Battle Costume makes me think of Black Widow.

Well, Falke seems really cool. I like her attacks, and her design. If I get SFV, I'll give her a try.

Welcome back to the Akiba region, and it's time for the ninth entry in my Text Play series traveling through the fan game Pokémon Mega Adventure!

Last time, we arrived at Floroma Town. Yeah, I goofed and misspelled the town's name. It's FloROMA. Get it? Flower and Aroma? Yeah. My bad there, folks. Sorry about that. Anyway, I've been doing a bit of grinding, building a team to take on the Grass-type Gym in Floroma.

Mostly Flying-types, but they can hurt Grass, so I included them. Litwick and Torracat are the only Fire-type Pokémon I have, so I wanted to include them. Litwick can bring the burning pain with Fire Spin and Will-O'-The-Wisp. Wonderful little candle. And Torracat will be a great backup for Litwick.

During my grinding session, I got a variety of items from talking to the Pokémon following me. I think I may have said it before, but I love this mechanic. It's a fun way to encourage interaction with your Pokémon. I do think there is room for improvement, though. Like, the more you interact with your Pokémon, you can make them friendlier with you, which allows you to get better items. For example, a Pokémon finds Potions for you. But with increased friendship over time, that Pokémon could end up finding Super Potions, and then Hyper Potions. I wonder if one gets different items from different Pokémon. Would be a great way to encourage players to play with different Pokémon.

I also have to admit, the grinding wasn't so bad. I got many of my Pokémon caught up rather quick. I like it when an RPG tries to make grinding less of a chore. So, on to the Gym.

I love that the Gym looks like a giant forest. Appropriate for one that specializes in Grass-type Pokémon. I went through some of the Trainers in the Gym. Steamrolled a few of them. I think I made my Pokémon a bit too powerful, ha ha. So, with that, on to take on the leader of the Gym, Hai.

I wonder if his name is a reference to something. His first Pokémon is a Lv. 20 Deerling. Timex the Hoothoot and Betty the Butterfree tag-teamed this one. Wasn't an easy fight, though. The Deerling had an Oran Berry and got a Super Potion. Really hurt Timex and Betty. The next Pokémon Hai brought out was a Lv. 21 Nuzleaf. I had to use a Super Potion of my own to get Betty back in fighting shape, but I had four, so it was fine. Betty's gust wrecked that one. His final Pokémon was a Lv. 22 Roselia. Torracat took it down with one bite of its Fire Fang. And that was it.

Hai notes he used to be a trainer himself in Sinnoh. He gives me the Nature Badge, which allows me to use Rock Smash outside of battle. I also got TM86 (Grass Knot). He's also hoping for a rematch once I beat the big league tournament. I'm looking forward to that. When I left the Gym, I got a surprise.

O hai, Ash! I show off my newfound Nature Badge, which looks like a green leaf. Ash brags that he has 4 badges now. Good for you, Ash. It's not a race. He tells me that I should go to a place called Sunnyvall City. Serena evidently has a gift for me there. Okay, why couldn't she give me this thing here? What could she possibly be doing? I can get to Sunnyvall through the Eleton Cave. Hey, the old man in front of said I needed three badges before he's let me go in there. I guess that's not going to be a problem anymore, heh heh.

And with that, Ash just leaves. Well, see you, I guess. I got a call from Jeff at Rocky Cave. He and his Mienfoo want a rematch. I'll have to oblige sometime.

Remember the flower shop? Well, I thought I'd check it out again, expecting to see it fully opened up now that I have beaten the boss of this town, as it were. But surprisingly, it was still in its previous state. That was surprising.

Eleton Cave is rather unusual when it comes to caves. When you go to caves in Pokémon games, I know one may think that you'd find plenty of Rock/Ground-types, and of course, Zubats. Tons and tons of Zubats. The bane of caves. Instead, in Eleton Cave...you find Electric-type Pokémon, as well as Steel-type. Although Steel would make sense as metal is often mined from underground. Huh. I did spot a Team Prime member near a ladder, but he made me go away.

While exploring the Cave, I found this guy.

His name is Harmos. He gave me TM94 (Rock Smash). Awesome. I taught it to my Geodude. I introduce myself, and he explains that there is a Gym in Sunnyvall City. Just have to get through the cave.

Outside the Cave, I found TM73 (Thunder Wave), and found myself in Mitsugi Town. Mitsugi Town is the home of Luan, who became Pokémon Champion some four years ago. There's also a Day-Care Center here. If I ever catch a Ditto, I'll try breeding some Pokémon here. I passed through the town and noticed Brendan zipping by me faster than a cheetah on cocaine. What was that about? I wish there was a Pokémon Center here, though. Luan's home is also here, but you can't go inside.

From Mitsugi Town, was Aerocliff Bridge. There are wild Pokémon on the Bridge. Mainly Rattata, Ekans, and Pidove. I battled a Black Belt named Hachi there, and added his number to my contacts list in my Pokégear. One of the Trainers on the bridge is nervous about battling on the bridge, but does so anyway. Dude, we don't have to do this. After I beat him, my player character calls him a coward. What the heck, man?!

Thankfully, Sunnyvall City is right at the end of the bridge. When I finally make it, Brendan is waiting for me. He needs my help. Team Prime has taken over the Power Plant here, and we gotta clear them out, because the cops are too busy guarding the local donut shop. I gotta meet a friend of his down at the Gym.

Sunnyvall is a weird city, because you have to enter a cave to get in the city itself. There, I found Serena, and we had a battle. I was worried about this, as my Pokémon were pretty wrecked after Aerocliff Bridge, but they all got healed up somehow. Maybe Brendan or Serena herself did it?

She brings out her Pidove, which was dealt with by Bulbasaur and Luxio, who also took care of Wartortle. Torracat took care of her Sewaddle. After the battle, she reveals that Professor Oak has sent me...a bike. I also got an Ice Stone, whatever that is.

The city seems to be split in half by a big line of rock. One of the houses on the right side has a family. The kid has an Electrike he's willing to trade for a Tynamo. Well, I encountered a wild Tynamo in the Eleton Cave map, and I did catch it, so I made the trade. You can also encounter a wild Magneton in the cave. The Pokémon Center in Sunnyvall has a man who will take it in exchange his special Raichu. His Raichu is special, alright.

 

 

It's the Alolan variant. Cool! 

At the Gym, I encounter May. She is there to help stop Team Prime activate the Power Core at the Power Plant. Why? Well, they want to destroy the world. Wait, why? There's no profit in that! Before we go in, she gives me a choice of Mega Stones: Venusaurite, Blastoisinite, and the two varities of Charizardite (X and Y). I chose the Venusaurite because I have an Ivysaur, and it can use it once it evolves again. And next time, we take on Team Prime at the Power Plant! Wish me luck!


Pokémon Obtained:

Route 7

- Shroomish

- Snivy

- Ralts

- Pidgeotto (evolved from Pidgey)


Eleton Cave

- Voltorb

- Magnemite

- Klink

- Drilbur

- Ferroseed

- Bronzor

- Joltik

- Tynamo

- Emolga (100th Pokémon obtained)

- Magneton


Eleton Path

- Minun

- Pachirisu

 

Aerocliff Bridge

- Hoppip

 

Sunnyvall City

- Electrike (Obtained via Trade)

- Raichu (Alolan variant, obtained via trade)

A new batch of characters has come to SFV! Well, in this case, an old veteran: Mr. Cody Travers, from the Final Fight series. He also was in Street Fighter IV, because the two games are set pretty much in the same universe. When we last saw him, Mr. Travers was rather bored with life, rotting in a jail cell thanks to a growing addiction to fighting. But now, he's turned his life around. He's done such a good job of it he's succeeded Mike Haggar as mayor of Metro City! I'm guessing Haggar is out being Mayor of the World now or something like that.

But despite his busy life, he always makes some time to throw down when he has to. Because sometimes in Metro City, the only way to keep the streets clean is to clean them yourself. Makes you wonder if Cody plans to actually institute a police force at some point. But, I am rambling. Here's his gameplay trailer!

 

 

Somebody's got a phone call. I bet Cody is really tired of that guy thinking his office is the pizza parlor.

Hey, it's Kenny Omega! Who is Kenny Omega? He's a pro wrestler. Very big in Japan, often rolls with a faction called the Bullet Club. The Bullet Club are essentially a ripoff of a certain 90s faction WCW hit it big with back in the day. At least, that's my impression of them. And on the phone? That's Xavier Woods, pro wrestler and gamer extraordinaire. He has his own YouTube channel which you can see here.

I just realized that this is a nod to the first Final Fight game's intro! Clever Capcom.

Considering Cody's character, his fighting style to me would be plain old brawling mixed with some pro wrestling as a nod to Haggar, and maybe even some martial arts moves as a nod to Guy. His best friends are a pro wrestling mayor and a Converse-wearing ninja, so he would pick up something from them.

...why is he wearing Haggar's pants? Do they get passed down from Mayor to Mayor? I hope they get washed at the very least, consider how much sweat and blood Haggar's bathed them in over the years.

Cody using his knife and a pipe are a great nod to Final Fight, which was a beat-em-up that let the player use weapons. And I love his using a pipe as a baseball bat. Trying to project that All-American image there, Mr. Travers?

I do like the funky music in the background.

You can play him wearing his original Final Fight outfit? Awesome! 

Well, this was really cool. I got a PS4 now, so I think I'll give SFV a shot. I also want to get that Street Fighter Collection for Switch...

I cannot believe that I have not talked about this until now. I had kept meaning to, but life got in the way. Stupid life...anyway, when Luke Cage made his solo Netflix debut, it was a big hit. I heard that it literally broke Netflix for a while. So many people wanted to see it, it managed to overload Netflix. It was also critically acclaimed and won several awards. So, with that kind of success, it was natural a second season was in order. And here's the trailer for it! Fair warning, this trailer is slightly NSFW, because it briefly has a naked dude (you don't see anything, but he is clearly naked) and Cage does curse once. So, I thought I'd warn you all before showing this.

 

 

The trailer begins...with a BANG! ...I hope they got the okay to blow up that truck.

Luke Cage is not just bulletproof, folks. He's also fireproof.

Heh heh, Cage should try pro wrestling. He's got the promo making down.

I love that Cage has become a bit of a celebrity in Harlem.

Heh heh, I love that those bad guys know they are going to get their butts handed to them, but try to take him on anyway.

Maybe he wouldn't have to beat up all the criminals if these cops actually caught them.

HOLY CAPOEIRA, BATMAN! CAGE GOT WRECKED! CAGE GOT WRECKED!

I'm with Stephen A. Smith on that. Sucks seeing a good man get wrecked like that.

I'm with Claire and Hat Guy there, Cage. This cat is bad news.

Say hello to Bushmaster, everyone! Well, there are two of them in the comics, a pair of Caribbean brothers named John and Quincy McIver. John was the first, and I think that's the one Cage is facing here. Quincy was the second. Quincy lost all his limbs when he tried to flee the police, and gained cybernetic ones. He also has a snake tail for a lower body now. He fought Captain America. John having powers like Cage's makes sense. In the comics, he did try to get powers like Cage's, but the process went wrong and was turned into a metal statue.

I wondering if John's empowering here will be more mystical in nature. Would make a great connection to Doctor Strange.

The ultimate battle between Cage and McIver will be brutal.

They burned Cage's house down. To quote Jack Burton, "Son of a b***h must pay."

And Mariah's hoping to take over Harlem. Oh, dear.

Hey cool, Misty Knight gets her bionic arm.

I have to admit, I enjoy the music in the trailer.

I think Cage possibly becoming like the monsters he fights will be the big theme of this season. It makes sense, since it seems the big villain will be someone who is essentially a dark mirror of Cage himself.

And he does have a point there, Misty. The show does have his name on it. But hey, maybe you'll get a spinoff. Worked for the Punisher...

...I think I finally need to get off my butt and watch Season 1. I had been wanting to, but I am lazy. But since I am going to Vegas soon, I may have some time to check it out. This is going to be fun!

Back in February, I took a look at the first trailer for the upcoming flick Skyscraper starring Dwayne Johnson, and surprisingly, Neve Campbell. Yeah. Where had she been? Well, there's a new trailer out, so let's take a look at it!

 This has been something I have been seeing in trailers lately. A flash of scenes before the actual thing starts. I first remember seeing it in the trailer for Blade Runner 2049. Why is that? That reminds me, I gotta see Blade Runner 2049. Heard it was good.

The trailer starts with Dwayne Johnson's character, ex-FBI agent Will Sawyer, putting on his prosthetic leg. I always wonder how they pull off an effect like that. I imagine it's a mix of body double and a bit of creative CGI myself.

You know, Will, it could have been worse. You could've ended up like Alex Murphy.

So, he married the surgeon who saved his life? Heck of a way to start a relationship. Did he ask her out in the recovery ward or something? 

That skyscraper looks like a DNA strand.

I do remember getting Die Hard vibes from the last trailer, but now, I find myself thinking of something else: J. G. Ballard's 1975 novel High-Rise. The novel in the book was like the one here in the movie, an advanced building that basically could be a small society on its own...but then it all goes to Hell. It inspired a 2015 film adaptation starring Tom Hiddleston, and a 1975 episode of Doctor Who: Paradise Towers.

You know, I bet somewhere right now, Hans Gruber is kicking himself for not adding a butt-kicking woman to his crew that tried to clean out Nakatomi Plaza.

He told himself to not look down...and he looked down. Why did he do that? You're just gonna freak yourself out, man!

See what I mean? You lost your focus, and you nearly slipped!

I doubt he could make that jump in real life. But hey, it's a movie.

Man, they never gave John McClane a chance to get his shoes on.

I wonder if some theme park is going to make a thrill ride inspired by that elevator.

THIS IS WHY YOU DO NOT START A HELICOPTER INSIDE.

Heh heh, I can imagine he's going to literally kill a man with that prosthetic. And I can also imagine that very last scene he is thinking, "Aw come ON, MAN! Do you know what kind of day I had today?!"

Well, I have to admit, I think this film will be at the very least, be a fun popcorn flick.

Memorial Day.

 

 

Here in the United States, the last Monday in May is spent honoring those who had made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their life in service to this country.

Memorial Day as we know it had evolved from many ceremonies done to honor soldiers in the American Civil War. In 1882, the holiday got the familiar "Memorial Day" name over the previous "Decoration Day", but it wouldn't really grow in popularity until WWII. However, it would not be until 1967 that the American federal government law would declare "Memorial Day" be the official name. On June 28, 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved the holiday from May 30 to the late Monday of May, creating a three-day weekend.

On this day, like we have in various forms over the last century plus, we honor those who have given their lives for this country, and ensure they have not been forgotten.

The Predator. Since 1987, this extraterrestrial hunter has been going after the most dangerous game: Man. From fighting a group of soldiers in a jungle led by Arnold Schwarzenegger to facing a group of earthlings on an alien world led by Adrien Brody, the Predator franchise is considered one of the most beloved franchises of the 1980s. Like many other franchises, the Predator has appeared in various media: comic books from Dark Horse, novels, video games, even crossovers with the Alien franchise. I'm surprised they didn't they to do a cartoon around the character. But now, a new Predtor film has been announced, a sequel set between the events of 1990's Predator 2 and 2010's Predators. Here's the teaser for it!

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPI9E-…

 

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Evidently you can order alien artifacts off of Amazon these days. Is there anything they don't have? Oh yeah, pensions for their employees.

Uh, kid? I think you broke the spaceship. The Yautja are going to be so mad...Yautja are what the species of the Predator are called. Their whole thing is hunting other species.

For a moment there, I thought it was Chris Hemsworth. But nope, it's Jake Busey. He's Gary Busey's son, who was in Predator 2. I heard Jake is playing the son of that character. Nice subtle nod to Predator 2 there.

Yeah, he saw something, alright.

Holy Toledo, Keegan Michael-Key is in this movie?!

So, these Yautja are upgrading themselves with human DNA, huh? Now, I know what you are thinking. "Why would they upgrade themselves with human DNA if they are supposedly stronger and tougher then humans?" Well, I look at it like this. Humans have beaten the Yautja a couple of times. They have shown they can take on things tougher than them and win. To a species like the Yautja, I can imagine they must think the humans have something unique about them, and they are trying to find it so they can be better hunters. The Predators are trying to adapt to fighting humans.

I think we're going to see some serious upgrading to the Predator's weaponry, based on that glaive. Or that particular Yautja has major Krull envy.

 

 

 

Heh heh, Krull.

Well, this looks like it will be a fun film. I can't wait to see where they go with this movie. It does look like it has a bit more of an action over a stealth bent, but a good hunter always adapts, and I think the Predator can adapt to this, too.

 

 

 

The Crisis on Infinite Earths is still tearing through the DC Multiverse! We've seen death, destruction, betrayal, and madness. And now...it all seems to be over. The Earths are gone...or are they? After all, there are still seven issues left of this miniseries...

Previously on Crisis on Infinite Earths: Supergirl tries to pep up a scared Batgirl as the white wall of anti-matter consumes the city. John Constantine appears. Pariah is able to rescue Lady Quark from the doomed Earth-Six. The Monitor creates a new Dr. Light from arrogant Japanese scientist Kimiyo Hoshi. The Monitor's enemy kidnaps the Red Tornado. Members of the Harbinger Group protect the Monitor's towers in the Medieval and WWII eras alongside the Shining Knight and Sgt. Rock. Harbinger, against her will, kills the Monitor, and Earths One and Two are seemingly consumed in a wall of white.

And with all that out of the way, let's take a look at Crisis on Infinite Earths #5!

 

 

The cover is pretty cool! We got Earths 1 and 2 put together in the style of a Venn diagram. In the background are...faces. Faces of various characters from the two Earths. And a very nice detail, the faces down the very center are the Justice League members who had active Justice Society counterparts: The Flashes, Supermen, Hawkmen, Wonder Women, the Atoms, Green Lanterns, and the Green Arrows. It's a clever touch.

"Worlds in Limbo"

Writer: Marv Wolfman

Penciler: George Perez

Inker: Jerry Ordway

Colorist: Anthony Tolin

Letterer: John Costanza

Editors: Robert Greenberger, Marv Wolfman, Len Wein

Executive Editor: Dick Giordano

The story begins with the Monitor's mysterious enemy crowing in triumph. Both Earths One and Two have been destroyed. However, there's a bit of a problem. The enemy had grown more powerful with every Earth destroyed, but he did not do so here. The Psycho-Pirate is none too happy about it, as he felt the enemy reneged on his promise for a world of his own to play with. The enemy is not too concerned about it, as he's wondering why, with those two Earths and the Monitor dead, he did not get their power. Psycho-Pirate pleads to let him help, and he wonders why the enemy needs the Red Tornado and the Flash. The enemy tells him to shut up, and he's quickly wearing out his usefulness.

He needs the Pirate and the Tornado as his servants, and he needed the Flash contained as the nature of his powers allowed him to easily travel the Multiverse. We next look into the Monitor's satellite, where Pariah is basically wondering what just happened, and why the Monitor allowed himself to die if he knew it was going to happen. He's feeling hopeless as now...it's over. The enemy has won.

He hears a teary-eyed Lyla horrified about what she had done, and this gets Pariah confused. She wonders why she killed him, because she owed him everything. The Monitor appears on a screen.

 

 

He assures her that he was aware of her possession, and used it to make one last desperate gambit to save the remaining Earths. You see, the Monitor's "tuning forks" were not ready yet, mainly because the Monitor had not been able to finish their power sources. When Harbinger killed him, the Monitor's "energies" went into the towers, and were used to power them. It also created a "netherverse" containing Earths One and Two, as well as calming down their populations.

However, there's another problem. You see, in the old Multiverse, every universe had a different vibrational rate. It's how Barry Allen ended up accidentally traveling to Earth-Two years earlier. But the vibrational rates of the two Earths are starting to sync up. When they do, they will start to merge. And if they end up occupying the same space at the same time...

Yup. Kiss everything and everyone you ever loved goodbye. The Monitor then wishes Lyla farewell...and that he loves her. Lyla laments that she never said it to him. Alexander Luthor appears and tells her he knew. The Monitor also left Alex instructions about how to help the remaining Earths. But first, a moment to mourn. A short time later, the three eject his body into space, a la Spock's corpse after Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, only there's no Genesis Planet for the torpedo to land on. The three are determined to honor the Monitor's last wish: Save the remains of the Multiverse.

Elsewhere, the enemy realizes what the Monitor has done. The Psycho-Pirate wonder why he's here. The enemy explains that there are not two, but five Earths left. The other three will be his to play with. But for right now, he can work his emotional games on Barry Allen. Allen is left petrified in terror.

In Earth-One Metropolis, Lana Lang is reporting on time seemingly on a drunken bender.

 

 

The heroes and villains alike are shocked by this. Dinosaurs in the streets. Pterodactyls and zeppelins flying alongside jet airliners! Cavemen alongside 18th century people in a modern apartment building! Man, that would make one funny sitcom. People from various places in time forced to live together in the modern day by a cosmic event. The heroes and villains are gathered together on the Monitor's satellite by Harbinger, Alex, and Pariah.

 

Look at that spread. Look at it. This is why George Perez is known as "The Master". Look at how many characters are in this crowd. And look how distinct they are from each other. It's a feast for the eyes. Anyway, Firebrand is furious, saying that Firebrand lied to her and the rest of the Harbinger Group. Pariah explains that the Monitor did keep tabs and records on various heroes and villains, but because he needed them. He needed them to work together, because that is the only way to save their worlds. Superman and Wonder Woman of Earth-One are convinced. Alex explains that the Monitor had an enemy, and that enemy is out to destroy all the universes. The only way to save them is to merge them all into one.

The various heroes and villains there are uncertain about this, so Alex invites them to return to their worlds and see the craziness for themselves. The Earth-Two Superman states that the heroes will stand and fight in the end. On Oa, the center of the Earth-One universe, the Green Lantern Corps return to the planet by spaceship as their rings seem to be non-functional. They discover this.

 

 

The Guardians of the Universe are trapped in some sort of stasis beam, unable to move or interact. The GL Corpsmen then get ambushed. In Earth-One Metropolis, Lois Lane nearly ends up sabertooth tiger chow, but the Earth-Two Superman saves her. In the time stream, Rip Hunter and his fellow Time Masters are trying to ride out a time storm. In Wayne Manor, Alfred discovers that a cave, and some cavemen ended up in Wayne Manor.

 

 

Oh hey, it's Anthro! Batman teamed up with everyone in the DCU back in the day, it was only a matter of time before he and Anthro met up. In Russia, Starfire, Firestorm, and several other heroes encounter Red Star fighting dinosaurs in Moscow. Starfire commands the others to back him up as he's Russia's only superhero. Yeah. A big freakin' country like Russia has one superhero. I'm going to assume Starfire thinks that because Red Star was the only Russian superhero she met beforehand. I find the idea of an entire country having only one superhero kind of silly. It would have made more sense if Starfire said he was its most prominent superhero, as in he's not the only one, just the one we know of, and in-universe, is the most well-known of Russia's heroes.

Anyway, Red Star is reluctant to accept the help because he feels Russia is his responsibility alone. Starfire reminds him Russia may be his responsibility, but so is the rest of the world, and they need to unite. Red Star agrees, admitting Starfire's words here are wise ones. He gets a bit optimistic, hoping that maybe this will lead to a better world for it.

In the enemy's lair, the enemy is doing something to Red Tornado. He is taking the robotic hero and transforming him into...something more. The enemy studied the Tornado and discovered something: The robot...is not a mere robot. He is a man. He is more than that. There's a primal force in that robotic body. A horrified Barry Allen watches a massive storm erupt around the Tornado. The storm isn't just a giant tornado. It's a hurricane. It's a typhoon. Rain and wind erupts everywhere. Thunder cracks and lightning strikes. The Red Tornado...is gone.

The merging of the Earths is starting to take effect. An elderly couple on Earth-Two see the Earth-One counterpart of their deceased daughter. I like this bit, as it gives a slight window to how this event is affecting regular people. The headquarters of the Legion of Super-Heroes appears on Earth-Two. On Earth-One, the living storm that was the Red Tornado arrives. Some heroes try to engage the transformed Tornado, unaware it's their compatriot. The Ted Grant Wildcat, one of the heroes that was helping to evacuate people, gets struck by a bolt of lightning and badly injured. Jay Garrick, the Flash of Earth-Two, realizes that the storm is the Tornado.

 

 

The heroes gather around the injured Wildcat to help him. Ultra Boy of the Legion uses his "Penetra-Vision" (basically X-Ray vision on steroids), to assess the damage. Wildcat's legs are badly shattered, and the former boxer may never walk again. He dropped a little girl when he got hit, but a young woman named Yolanda Montez managed to catch her. Keep an eye on her, folks. The heroes are convinced of the danger to the two Earths, so they agree to help Alex Luthor.

Luthor gathers a group of heroes to the Monitor's satellite, as he has a mission for them. Earths One and Two are fine for now, but there are three more, and they need to be saved. If they aren't saved, the heroes won't be able to resist the Monitor's enemy. Among the heroes is the new Dr. Light, who hates the idea of being involved in this, but Luthor reminds her that she has to do her part, or everyone is doomed. Luthor is about to send them on their way, but Pariah and Harbinger senses something wrong.

The satellite starts shaking, energy crackling all around it. In the enemy's lair, Psycho-Pirate is amazed that the enemy is able to attack the satellite without weapons. Despite this, the enemy knows that it's only going to delay the heroes. But it will delay them enough so they won't be able to stop him. The Pirate remarks that the enemy had also talked about a place called Apokolips. But Darkseid and his Elite will be dealt with soon enough. Barry Allen taunts the enemy, saying he is a coward. He refuses to show himself. The enemy finds Allen's taunting foolish, as the enemy is not burdened with emotions. He is burned with glorious purpose, though. Oh wait, that's Loki. The enemy agrees to show himself.

 

 

Everyone, meet...the Monitor. Or as he's been more popularly known as...the Anti-Monitor. Look at this design. This is a design that only George Perez could pull off. When I first saw the withered vestigial organic mouth area, I honestly thought they were teeth. He little speaker on the chin is a nice and clever detail. It gives the idea that his is what this monster speaks through, and it's voice is electronic. I also love that the Anti-Monitor's mostly machine in appearance, to contrast the more organic Monitor. The cybernetics also give the idea that he is cold and inhuman, more of a monster.

The story ends with the antimatter wave hitting Earth-X, a world where World War II lasted for decades with a Nazi victory. The story ends with this world's resistance fighters-turned-defenders known as the Freedom Fighters watches the wall consume a city. They know they don't have the power to stop it, but they're not going to give up. They'll save the world, even if it costs them their lives.

This issue was...not bad at all. Not a lot happens in it, but that's bound to happen in a 12-issue mini-series. It does read better when read as part of a whole than on its own. Not much may have happened, but we do get a nice exciting cliffhanger, the reveal of the Anti-Monitor's true appearance, and plenty of action. We do get to see heroes do hero things. Red Star being Russia's only superhero seems kind of silly to me, though. As I said earlier, Russia is a very big country. I find the idea that it only has one superhero kind of...crazy.

George Perez's artwork is epic as ever. I don't know what I can say that no else has already about his art. The detail is astounding, and it's really cool seeing what so many characters would look like under his pencils. Next time, we'll go backwards from the dying days of the original DC Multiverse, and head to the swinging 1960s! There, we will join DC's super-sorceress Zatanna as she begins her search for her father...

Hyrule Warriors. A simple, but rather ingenious mash-up. Combine the mythos of Nintendo's long-running Legend of Zelda series with the hack-and-slash action of Koei Tecmo's Dynasty Warriors series, and you get a rather fun game. It was one of the best-selling games on the Wii U. It would be ported to the 3DS later on as Hyrule Warriors Legends, but it's making it's jump to the Switch! And here's the launch trailer for it!

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUzdlD…

 

I did play a demo of this in a store once, but I never got the game. I wonder why, as I really enjoyed it. Maybe it just escaped me.

Heh heh, Linkle. I remember all the complaining and whining when she first appeared.

29 Characters? Wow. Shame they couldn't get one more to make it to the big 3-0. Maybe future DLC.

Yeah, this game feels like a massive tribute to the Zelda series with all these characters from various games appearing.

Ho ho, that attack from Ganondorf looks so awesome!

Heh, Link just WRECKED Ganondorf.

Changing warriors on the fly, huh? Well, that makes sense with different characters have different strengths and weaknesses. Switch to the best character for the situation you are in.

I can imagine the Ocarina Warp would make heading to various battlefields a lot easier, especially if they are under siege and need your help. You can respond quick and hopefully help even the odds.

I like the co-op idea, too. Kick some butt with a friend.

That's one big Bombchu.

...was that Godzilla? Coming out of the ground there?

Adventure Mode, huh? Neat. I love the usage of graphics from the first Zelda game.

Were the fairy partners from the 3DS version? I don't think they were in the Wii U version. I wonder what they do? Do they provide bonuses or something?

Challenge Mode, huh? I wonder what you'd get for beating that?

Hey, Breath of the Wild costumes for Link and Zelda! Awesome! I wonder if we'll see characters from that game as future DLC? I can imagine the Guardians from that game would be fun to play as here. Man, I gotta get Breath of the Wild, too.

I love that you get all the DLC from the previous ports. I wonder if it's all available at once, or you have to unlock it somehow?

Well, this game looks awesome! For some reason, I skipped out on this one, despite it looking like a ton of fun to me. I'll definitely have to correct that mistake in the near future. You know, they've also mashed up Dynasty Warriors with the Fire Emblem series, I would love to see more mash-up games like this. I can imagine maybe the Mario series could have fun with this. Or the Avengers! Having a member of the Avengers fighting swarms of HYDRA agents or AIM Adaptoids? That would be awesome!