A Look Back at What If #61 (1994)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s arts and culture enthusiasts, Marvel Comics fans and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the wild 1990s and examine an alternate universe portrayal of one of Spider-Man’s many events told through the What If monthly series!

If you are looking for a portrayal of Spider-Man going over the edge and into the extremes emotionally, you are about to experience something in this retro review of mine. Some time ago, I reviewed a What If comic book about Spider-Man becoming a murderer which was compelling but ended on a whimper.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at What If #61 published in 1994 by Marvel Comics with a story written by Kurt Busiek and drawn by Kirk Jarvinen, Andrew Wildman, Derek Yaniger and Jim Amash.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Richard and Mary Parker (Peter Parker’s parents) arriving in the presence of Aunt May who happens to be visited by their son Peter (Spider-Man). Having learned something from a while back, Aunt May tells Richard and Mary that they are not genuine persons. Suddenly, Peter Parker’s spider sense intensifies and in an attempt to defuse the situation, he leads his aunt to walk out of the house with him. Richard and Mary watch them walk away.

It turns out, Richard and Mary are impostors and they have been working all the time for a secretive boss. Richard calls his employer under an emergency and reports that they have completed phase one of their assignment, that Aunt May knows the truth about them and is about to inform Spider-Man. Richard is then told that under no circumstances is the plan to be jeopardized and anyone who suspects must die. He is also told to flush Mary’s programming and reset her as she showed signs of acting odd to the situation.

A short time later, Richard and Mary – now in morphed forms with vastly different bodies and half their heads resembling their human selves – suddenly break into an apartment surprising Peter, his wife Mary Jane and Aunt May. Violent action by one of them accidentally ripped open Peter’s shirt, revealing his Spider-Man suit to Aunt May. Just as Peter’s aunt figures out the secret, he tells Mary Jane to grab her and get out.

However, the sight of the morphed Mary Parker shocked Aunt May and Mary Jane so much, they failed to move. Mary Parker then morphs her two hands into large, makeshift hammers, and swiftly killed Aunt May and Mary Jane. Peter is instantly shocked by their sudden deaths but deep inside, rage begins to burn…

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Spider-Man already over the edge and reacting violently to the abusive Daily Bugle.

I can start by confirming that Kurt Busiek’s writing is very strong and his alternate take on the events of Amazing Spider-Man #388 (1994) is indeed very solidly composed. In one way, I find the emotional stakes for Spider-Man has been raised a lot higher than what was portrayed in the 400th issue of Amazing Spider-Man (the canon story). The concept of losing his beloved family members to enemies who were impostors that looked like his long lost parents is indeed disturbing as well as highly emotionally charged. In relation to this, Busiek and the illustrators brought to life a Spider-Man who really went over the edge by taking matters into his own hands as the loss of beloved ones led to the blurring of the boundary between good and evil. Even the boundary between innocence and guilt gets blurred which adds more depth to the emotions of the story. As I read the story, there were moments when I felt that Spider-Man became as bad as the evil ones even though he is clearly the victim and his family was targeted.

Apart from showing Spider-Man getting outraged and pushed to the limits, Busiek inserted elements about how people perceive incidents without knowing all the facts and how easily they get manipulated by a news outlet – the Daily Bugle where Peter Parker worked as a freelance photographer – that does not care about ethical journalism nor the pursuit of the truth. In this age of widespread fake news and liberal news media outlets in America doing propaganda for American Communists (read: Democrats, abortionists, LGBTQ, Black Lives Matter, Antifa, the terrorists, the climate change extremists and the socialist hordes), this particular aspect of the story makes this comic book strongly relevant to read today.

The story also sheds light on Spider-Man’s connections with other Marvel superheroes who happen to be in New York City. You will see Captain America and Johnny Storm express their concern about Spider-Man’s state of mind as they themselves still tried to figure out what really happened. In short, the superheroes here showed restraint even as Spider-Man goes to the extreme being a victim as well as a fugitive.

If there are any weak points in this comic book, it would be the art which has this cartoon-like aesthetic. Considering the serious subject matter, the visuals are quite contradicting as they make this look like it was made for much younger readers.

Conclusion

Spider-Man takes on the impostors who looked like his parents.

As far as storytelling and characterization goes, What If #61 (1994) succeeded a lot on portraying the iconic Spider-Man as the superhero who went over the limits of his emotions and his reasoning which is the result of the tragic deaths of two beloved family members caused by individuals who pretended to be his parents. This is a very solid story which also has a powerful ending. Where What If #72 failed, this comic book succeeded and even exceeded it with Spider-Man truly becoming unheroic. I should state that this comic book should convince readers to go to the Amazing Spider-Man series and follow the Lifetheft storyline in issues #386 to #388 (which were released months before this comic book). Kurt Busiek’s script is indeed great and it is easily the driving force of the comic book, more than enough to overcome the cartoon-like visuals.

Overall, What If #61 (1994) is highly recommended.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

A Look Back at Spider-Man 2099 #7 (1993)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back, superheo enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we revisit the Marvel 2099 franchise within Marvel Comics’ shared universe during the 1990s. Specifically speaking, we take a look back at one of the early tales of Spider-Man 2099.

In this retro comic book review, the Spider-Man 2099 comic has an eye-catching cover that shows the protagonist in conflict with the 2099 version of the classic Spider-Man the Vulture. At the end of the sixth issue of Spider-Man 2099, Vulture 2099 appeared for the first time ever. This particular issue, which I bought and read in the summer of 1993, marked the conflict between Spidey and Vulture of the future.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Spider-Man 2099 #7, published by Marvel Comics in 1993 with a story written by Peter David and drawn by Rick Leonardi.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Spider-Man 2099 feeling very disoriented, wondering if he is falling as he feels the wind. It turns out, Vulture 2099 is flying while holding him. Close behind them is Spider-Man’s friend flying a hover vehicle. As the flying lady gets close to them, the Vulture quickly makes a move be behind her and starts using his 3-blade mechanical claw on her. As Vulture is about to strike her, Spider-Man disrupts him in defense of her but her vehicle still got damaged.

As the lady’s vehicle releases smoke as a result of the damage, Vulture berates Spider-Man and knocks him out cold. Spidey’s friend crashes down but miraculously survived.

Elsewhere, Miguel O’Hara’s mother visits his apartment and starts talking with the artificial intelligence Lyla…

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Spider-Man 2099’s first strike against Vulture 2099.

I’ll start first with Vulture 2099 here. I can say this futuristic version of the classic Spider-Man supervillain was made by the creative team of be really intriguing as he is not only an intimidating flying force, but he is also the leader of a gang called the Freakers. Vulture 2099 also operates while strongly hanging on to his socialist-inspired views truly believing that his Freakers are meant to rise not only against New York’s corporate forces but also against the Thorites and other factions of New York’s underclass. Vulture 2099 also is intelligent and he is clearly aware about what has been going on around them, and no matter how large and powerful Alchemax really is, he is very obsessed about bring them down. Believing he is living with principles, Vulture 2099 goes as far as informing Spidey about their existence and tries to get him as a partner.

On the aspect of evil, Vulture of 2099 was defined by Peter David to be a human monster in the true sense of the words. To find out about that, you must read this comic book.

For his part, Spider-Man’s struggle to survive and get out of danger continues here and the lower-city environment turned out to be a rather intriguing setting for readers to follow him in. His encounters with Vulture 2099 are entertaining to see complete with really inspired dialogue.

Compared to the previous issues, this particular story highlights the lower parts of New York City which was prime real estate back in the 20th century but got left behind neglected as city development physically went upward. This shows the poor and neglected people living below the modern city in darkness and with lots of crime and negativity around them. The Vulture and his gang stand out in the local lower population due to their violence and so-called principles.

Conclusion

Early in the story.

Spider-Man 2099 #7 (1993) has a very engaging story and showcased what was back then the most captivating supervillain of the futuristic Spider-Man. Through David’s writing, it was clear that Vulture 2099 was meant to be a recurring supervillain in this series and he represents the violence and obsessions of the lower-city underclass who will stop at nothing to bring down the corporate giants as well as their rival factions among the impoverished. The portrayal of New York City’s criminal environment and poverty here was cleverly done by David. The new rivalry between the protagonist and 2099’s own Vulture must be seen! Lastly, I should say that Vulture 2099 would mix well with real-life violent forces like Black Lives Matter (BLM), Antifa and terror-oriented groups had he been real. Make no mistake, Vulture 2099 is evil and let this retro review remind you to never embrace evil and never let the said supervillain be your role model. The real world today has way too many radical forces who use violence and anarchy to change societies in accordance to their foolish, unholy worldly beliefs.

Overall, Spider-Man 2099 #7 (1993) is highly recommended!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

Pray for the leaders for it is pleasing and acceptable to our Lord

Here in my native Philippines, the incoming President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (popularly referred to as BBM), was recently proclaimed as the duly elected winner of the presidential contest of this year’s general elections. He won with a majority of the votes counted with 31.6 million which was more than double over his closest arrival Leni Robredo (who was endorsed by people trapped by religion, idolatry and rituals) who ended up with 15 million votes. Marcos and his successful running mate Sara Duterte will take office as President and Vice President respectively on June 30, 2022.

Along the way, President-elect Marcos appealed to the Filipino to pray for him and wish him well. To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Philippine Daily Inquirer report. Some parts in boldface…

Now that he has been proclaimed as 17th president of the country, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. appealed to Filipinos: “Pray for me. Wish me well.”

“Beyond that, I promise you that we may not be perfect but we will always strive to perfection. Thank you very much,” Marcos Jr. told reporters following his proclamation as winner in the May 9 presidential race at the Batasan Pambansa in Quezon City on Wednesday.

I am inspired by this responsibility that has been given me… Ask you all, pray for me, wish me well. I want to do well because when a president does well, the country does well. And I want to do well for this country,” he added.

Marcos Jr. further said: “I am humbled because for anyone in public service or in a public life, the most valuable thing you may receive from a fellow citizen is their vote.”

“Because embedded in that vote are their hopes and their aspirations for the future. But also embedded in that vote are the trust and the confidence that they give to you to take them to that aspirational future,” he also said.

For the newcomers reading this, President-elect Marcos is the son of the late President Ferdinand Marcos (he served from 1965 to 1986, died during exile in 1989 in Hawaii) who has a very controversial legacy to say the least. For decades, the Marcos family has been hit by criticism and hatred in relation to the legacy of the first President Marcos.

More on the incoming President of the Philippines, Bongbong Marcos’ appeal to the Filipino to pray for him and wish him well so that the entire nation will do well is a big reminder for all of us Christians to return to the Holy Bible which contains a very important scripture that we should pray for our leaders as it is acceptable and pleasing to God. I am talking about the holy scripture in 1 Timothy 2:1-3. To start with, posted below is the scripture from the New King James version of the Holy Bible…

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,

1 Timothy 2:1-3 (NKJV)

Verse 2 of the above scripture emphasizes that we must pray for those who are in authority over us if we wish to reap the benefits of good government, which is a prized gift from the Heavenly Father for the church’s welfare and advancement of the gospel. While the word “kings” is mentioned in Verse 2, it is not limited to kings or monarchies here on Earth. In fact, 1 Timothy 2:1-3 applies to any form government and any head of state in this divided world we live in. That being said, we must pray for our leaders from as high as the top of the national government right down to the lowest parts of the national government, the regional government, the local government and the civic groups, the homeowners’ associations/federations and other forms of authorities on the community level.

As for the newly elected officials, we must also pray for them as they prepare themselves to take office. As it is acceptable and pleasing to God, we must set aside political ideologies, set aside favoritism and kill off idolatry to pray for current leaders and the next batch of leaders so that they will open their hearts to the Lord and look up to Him for His guiding light so that they can govern properly, make the right decisions and lead our communities and the nation to prosperity, opportunities, positive changes and happiness.

For more holy insight, posted below are versions of 1 Timothy 2:1-3 in the Message, Amplified Bible Classic Edition and The Passion Translation.

The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.

1 Timothy 2:1-3 (MSG)

First of all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men,

For kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly] we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way.

For such [praying] is good and right, and [it is] pleasing and acceptable to God our Savior,

1 Timothy 2:1-3 (AMPC)

Most of all, I’m writing to encourage you to pray with gratitude to God. Pray for all men with all forms of prayers and requests as you intercede with intense passion. And pray for every political leader and representative, so that we would be able to live tranquil, undisturbed lives, as we worship the awe-inspiring God with pure hearts. It is pleasing to our Savior-God to pray for them.

1 Timothy 2:1-3 (TPT)

Always remember we only worship the Heavenly Father, His Son Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit, not people, not paintings, not statues/statuettes and not whatever new forms of idols come out. Idolatry, which is common among fanatical and extreme followers of politicians when it comes to politics in any nation, is always an abomination to our Lord.

Going back to praying for our leaders so that we can reap the benefits of good government and more blessings from our Lord, posted below is a very meaningful and truthful holy scripture to pray with…

Now then, you kings, act wisely!

    Be warned, you rulers of the earth!

Serve the Lord with reverent fear,

    and rejoice with trembling.

Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry,

    and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities—

for his anger flares up in an instant.

    But what joy for all who take refuge in him!

Psalm 2:10-12 (NLT)

Psalm 2:10-12 clearly shows that our leaders are subject to our Lord who is absolutely watching them all the time. Community and government officials who wield power have responsibilities to live up to and they should make themselves transparent and accountable not only to the constituents but also to the Lord Himself. Any leader or official who becomes corrupt and gets crooked will be subject to eternal judgment by God. There is simply no hiding and no running away from the Lord no matter how big or how much government resources leaders wield.

Leaders who wield power over the people should always remember that the Lord is always the greatest authority over them and there is no way they can match His authority. As they serve the constituents, leaders are destined to serve the Lord high above them. Like all other people, leaders belong to the Lord as it is written in the Holy Bible. Learn from the four translations of Psalm 22:27-28 below…

All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord,

And all the families of the nations will worship before You.

For the kingdom is the Lord’s

And He rules over the nations.

Psalm 22:27-28 (NASB)

All the ends of the world

Shall remember and turn to the Lord,

And all the families of the nations

Shall worship before You.

For the kingdom is the Lord’s,

And He rules over the nations.

Psalm 22:27-28 (NKJV)

All the ends of the earth shall remember

    and turn to the Lord,

and all the families of the nations

    shall worship before you.

For kingship belongs to the Lord,

    and he rules over the nations.

Psalm 22:27-28 (ESV)

From the four corners of the earth,

the peoples of the world will remember and return to Yahweh.

Every nation will come and worship him.

For Yahweh is King of all, who takes charge of all the nations.

Psalms 22:27-28 (TPT)

Finally, I want to encourage you to pray that the next batch of leaders are righteous people. If any of them is not yet righteous, pray for them to help them become righteous under the watch of our Lord. Righteousness on the part of the leader is essential. Wickedness is absolutely an abomination! Learn from the scripture below…

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;

But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.

Proverbs 29:2 (NKJV)

For the future of the Philippines which will have several newly elected and re-elected government officials on all levels taking office on June 30, 2022, I encourage you all to pray for the incoming leaders starting from the top with Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos as President, Sara Duterte as Vice President, the Marcos administration’s Cabinet, the Senators, the House of Representatives members, provincial governors, provincial legislators, city government officials, town officials and others. I encourage you to let go off your biases, your emotions and pain to pray for the incoming leaders so that they will all look up to the Lord and follow Him accordingly so that they will govern cleanly, clearly and will lead the entire Philippines to a brighter, more prosperous future.

To the people who voted for the losing candidates of the 2022 Philippine general elections, I encourage you to let go off your bitterness and hatred, and pray for the incoming leaders to obey God as they take office and will function in the years to come. Pray for the leaders – the current and the incoming ones – so that the Philippines will rise stronger from the COVID-19 crisis and more new jobs will be created for the many people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Look up to the Lord for His guiding light and His path to the brighter future. Always remember that the Lord’s authority is always higher than that of the entire forms of government in the Philippines! The Lord’s authority is always higher than that of the Philippine President and any other government or civic leader. Come to the Lord as He is always worthy of all the praise!

From this point on, I would like to reach out to all the lost and the unsaved people reading this. Did a religious and idolatrous extremist ruin your life? Have you been living in bondage for too long? Did the atheists, the humanists and the secularists fool you and abused you? Were you victimized by crook? Have you been living as a homosexual or as a transgendered person? Are you still addicted to sex, drugs and other inappropriate elements? Did you spend an entire life worshiping statues, statuettes, images, people and relics? Are you a toxic person or one of those modern-day Leftist activists (Black Lives Matter, Democratic Socialists of America, Antifa, the abortionists and others) who got fed up fighting for worthless causes? Did you kill someone and have been living so long with the guilt?

All of the darkness related to what were mentioned above can finally end and you can decide to do it! How? You can save yourselves by submitting yourselves to the Lord Jesus willingly and realize He is the Light! No force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. For those who have decided to get born again now and gain salvation, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from a pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Father God,

I thank You. I believe Jesus is Your Son. I believe that He died for me and redeemed me from all of my sins. He took my sins and, Father, thank You for loving me and You demonstrated Your love for me through Your Son Jesus Christ. Forgive me for all of my sins. Jesus, I open my heart to You. I welcome You to enter into my heart. I confess today that You are now my Lord and Savior. Thank You for forgiveness. I receive forgiveness. Thank You for Your blood that cleansed me from all of my sins. I will follow You, Jesus. Thank You for Your plan. I receive the Holy Spirit. And Holy Spirit, help me to follow the will of God in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. Remember that idolatry is evil, Purgatory is a lie, penance is a deception and Satan always used religion and unbelief to prevent people from being saved by the Lord. Also, do not ever hail Mary (the mother of Lord Jesus) because all the praise and honor belong to God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit only.

With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward and the best is yet to come! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to get yourself copy of the Holy Bible (start with New King James Version), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a local Christian church that God has chosen for you (note: ask Him for a local church!) and find your place in the spiritual family (God’s family!).  Be planted when the Lord shows you the way! Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God. When you are at home, be in your room with the door shut and have fellowship with our Heavenly Father. On a personal level, practice Christian Habits here and there. Remember the truth that God rewards the faithful abundantly, only He can lift you up and restore you fully,  and continue to be people of the WordDeclare your love for Him as well!

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close to it for it is the Word of God. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future. His return is what we must always remember and keep living with holiness under the watch of God. We can do our part in building up God’s kingdom here on Earth by preaching His Word, blessing the Jewish people and saving the countless lost and unsaved souls around us by leading them to Lord Jesus. Living as a Christian is always about the personal relationship with the Lord, and it is certainly not about religion. Never let the idolaters, the idol makers, the ritual practitioners and other sinister forces fool you into becoming unholy.

In ending this, here are some videos of Christian worship music for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

Better than Streaming: Red Dawn Collector’s Edition 4K Blu-ray coming out on August 16, 2022

Welcome back, fellow geeks, Blu-ray collectors and movie buffs! If you are sick and tired of the modern-day wokeness-filled garbage of Communist Hollywood (Commiewood) and if you are nostalgic about 1980s Hollywood cinema, then you should be interested to learn that the Red Dawn Collector’s Edition 4K Blu-ray will be released on August 16, 2022 and already pre-orders are being accepted online.

Red Dawn Collector’s Edition 4K Blu-ray is set for an August 16, 2022 release.

According to the Blu-ray.com page of the movie, Red Dawn 4K Blu-ray disc will have native 4K visuals and a brand new 4K restoration of the film from its original negative has been reported. These details are very much welcome because I have Red Dawn on Blu-ray disc (1080p) and its visuals were not very good. Moving forward, posted below are the specs for Red Dawn 4K Blu-ray

Video

Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)

HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Subtitles – English SDH

Discs – 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc, Two-disc set (1 BD-100, 1 BD-50)

Packaging – Slipcover in original pressing, Inner print

Playback – 4K Blu-ray: Region free, 2K Blu-ray: Region A (B, C untested)

For the newcomers reading this, Red Dawn is a 1984 action movie directed by John Milius that explores what would happen in America – specifically at a Colorado town surrounded by wilderness – once World War III breaks out and the nation gets invaded by the Soviet Union (Russians) and their South American Commies. A small group of teenagers manage to escape the invasion of their town and moved into the wilderness with limited supplies to survive with. As the Leftists impose order in the town, the group slowly organizes itself into a force of opposition with one objective: freedom.

This movie starred the late Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson and Jennifer Grey when they were much younger. As the 1980s had lots of Hollywood movies about teenagers presented in comedies and drama films, Red Dawn easily stands out among them all as it deals a very serious concept related to the Cold War back then. Its story is a powerful reminder that Communists and the Satanic Left are essentially evil.

Given the fact that America today has several millions of young people brainwashed by socialists in schools, the fact that Leftist terrorists groups like Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Antifa are tearing down American society, the fact that Hollywood has lots of Commies and SJWs among its members, the fact that gun owners’ rights are being attacked a lot by the Left, the fact that Democrats prioritize illegal immigrants over American citizens, and the fact that lots of politicians abuse their governmental powers to emphasize socialism, Communism, Marxism and other wicked values on the people, Red Dawn of 1984 is still highly relevant. This is the movie that liberals and people poisoned with political correctness cannot tolerate. Watch out for Red Dawn Collector’s Edition 4K Blu-ray on August 16, 2022.

In closing this Better than Streaming piece, posted below are Red Dawn-related videos for your viewing pleasure.

If you wish to join a group of movie enthusiasts and talk about cinema, visit the Movie Fans Worldwide Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/322857711779576

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

Pray to the Lord to have Roe v. Wade in America overturned!

Since early 1973, the unholy and murderous act of abortion became legal in the United States of America as a result of the highly controversial Supreme Court decision referred to as Roe v. Wade. Since that time, many millions of unborn babies were killed and to this day the issue of abortion remains highly divisive among Americans.

Now there is a renewed hope for America’s people of faith, the pro-life movement and the defenders of the unborn as the established Mississippi state law that bands abortion at fifteen weeks of pregnancy has reached the Supreme Court and it looks like the justices of America’s highest court will uphold it and even go as far as overturning Roe v. Wade at long last.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the detailed report of CBN News. Some parts in boldface…

Constitutional experts were glued to the Supreme Court’s oral arguments Wednesday, looking for any clues as to how the justices might rule in a case that’s considered the biggest challenge to Roe v. Wade in decades.

And the six conservative-leaning justices appear poised to uphold the Mississippi law that bans abortions at 15 weeks of pregnancy. They could even take it a step further, which would mean overturning the so-called national right to abortion created under the landmark Roe case in 1973.

The Mississippi Solicitor General Scott Stewart argued that the high court should get out of the business of crafting abortion policy and return the issue to the state legislatures to decide.

Nowhere else does this court recognize a right to end a human life,” said Stewart. “The Constitution places its trust on the people… on hard issue after hard issue, the people make this country work. Abortion is a hard issue. It demands the best from all of us. Not a judgment by just a few of us.”

In Roe v. Wade, the Court declared that a right to abortion can be found within the right to privacy, stemming from the 14th Amendment.

But Stewart argued that the so-called right to abortion is not constitutional.

A right to abortion is not grounded in the text,” said Stewart. “It’s grounded in abstract concepts.

If the justices rule in favor of the Mississippi law it would undermine Roe, and if they overrule Roe it would break with precedent.

It’s why much of the arguments focused on the legal principle of “stare decisis,” and whether or not this is the moment to make such a dramatic change.

Some of the liberal justices worried aloud about the country’s trust if the new conservative majority leads the high court to reverse course.

“Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts,” said Justice Sonia Sotomayor. “I don’t see how it’s possible.”

“They’re going to be ready to say, ‘You’re just political, You’re just politicians.’ And that’s what kills us, as an American institution,” Justice Stephen Breyer argued.

Center for Reproductive Rights Director Julie Rikelman defended Roe before the court, arguing primarily that abortion is about women’s “liberty”.

“For a state to take control of a woman’s body and demand that she go through pregnancy and childbirth with all the physical risks and life-altering consequences that that brings is a fundamental deprivation of her liberty,” said Rikelman.

Justice Sotomayor asked about impoverished women who suffer medical complications with unwanted pregnancies.

Stewart responded that both the mother’s and child’s interests are important and so the states should be allowed to decide such a complicated issue in which two lives are at stake.

Justice Amy Barrett also noted that women with unwanted pregnancies have the option of adoption thanks to safe-haven laws.

Why don’t safe haven laws take care of that problem,” asked Barrett. “That would answer the reliance concern.”

Rikelman contended that women have come to rely on abortion, and need it for success in education and work.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh pursued questions relating to neutrality and said the Court shouldn’t be forced to pick sides.

“Many say the Constitution is neither pro-life nor pro-abortion and should be left to the state or the Congress and that the court should be scrupulously neutral because the Constitution doesn’t give us the authority,” Kavanaugh said.

The above news ended stating that a decision from the Supreme Court won’t be known until June-July 2022. For more insight on this, watch the related news video posted below.

Pray for victory over abortion not only in America but also for the rest of the world

Abortion is truly unholy as it is clearly more about taking life away from the unborn. Never let the Satanic Left and its pawns (abortionists, radical feminists, socialists, Communists, Marxists, liberals, secularists, atheists, Black Lives Matter, Antifa, the “My Body My Choice” fanatics and others) fool you! Abortion is absolutely not part of liberty and certainly not about freedom at all…it is a rebellious act against God who Himself made plans for each and every person long before they were even born here on this very divided world. Abortion is murder and there is no denying that! Abortion itself increased immorality in America and caused disruptions and division on countless families it affected. Abortion is truly evil. Learn from the following scriptures below…

You shall not murder.

Exodus 20:13 (NKJV)

There are six evils God truly hates

    and a seventh that is an abomination to him:

Putting others down while considering yourself superior,

    spreading lies and rumors,

    spilling the blood of the innocent,

   plotting evil in your heart toward another,

    gloating over doing what’s plainly wrong,

   spouting lies in false testimony,

    and stirring up strife between friends.

    These are entirely despicable to God!

Proverbs 6:16-19 (TPT)

I was cast upon You from birth.

From My mother’s womb

You have been My God.

Psalm 22:10 (NKJV)

The Lord gave me this message:

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”

Jeremiah 1:5 (NLT)

For You formed my inward parts;

You covered me in my mother’s womb.

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Marvelous are Your works,

And that my soul knows very well.

My frame was not hidden from You,

When I was made in secret,

And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.

And in Your book they all were written,

The days fashioned for me,

When as yet there were none of them.

Psalm 139:13-16 (NKJV)

Children are God’s love-gift; they are heaven’s generous reward.

Children born to a young couple will one day rise to protect

    and provide for their parents.

Happy will be the couple who has many of them!

    A household full of children will not bring shame on your name

    but victory when you face your enemies,

    for your offspring will have influence and honor

    to prevail on your behalf!

Psalm 127:3-5 (TPT)

With the fate of abortion rights in America on the balance, now is the time for us all to pray to our Lord to enlighten the Supreme Court justices so they will vote decisively to uphold Mississippi’s law and strike down Roe v. Wade once and for all! It does not matter if you are a citizen of the United States or not. What matters is you are a faithful child of the Lord, you faithfully follow His Word and you can help Him save the unborn from certain death. Overturning Roe v. Wade will also be a major push back against the Satanic Left and their members, including the most radical abortionists, will realize their errors, come to Jesus to repent and submit themselves to Him. Pray to the Lord that nationwide legalized abortion in America will end and pray that the followers of Satan will decide to leave him behind, stop being evil and come to our Lord for forgiveness and salvation. Do not cease praying to our Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit for the breakthrough! Live on with unwavering faith in the Lord!

From this point on, I would like to reach out to all the lost and the unsaved people reading this. Are you frustrated with religion? Have you been living in bondage for too long? Did the atheists, the humanists and the secularists fool and abused you? Were you victimized by a religious zealot? Have you been living as a homosexual or as a transgendered person? Are you still prioritizing addictions to sex, drugs and other inappropriate elements over the Lord ? Have you been causing trouble as a social justice warrior (SJW)? Did you spend an entire life worshiping statues, statuettes, images, people and relics? Are you a toxic person or one of those modern-day Leftist activists (Black Lives Matter, Democratic Socialists of America, the abortionists and others) who got fed up fighting for worthless causes? Have been a Planned Parenthood supporter or activist? Did you kill someone and have been living so long with the guilt? Have been practicing sorcery and witchcraft? All of that darkness can finally end and you can decide to do it! How? You can save yourselves by submitting yourselves to the Lord Jesus willingly and realize He is the Light! Glorify only the Lord!

There is no force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. For those who have decided to get born again now and gain salvation, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from my first pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Father God,

I thank You. I believe Jesus is Your Son. I believe that He died for me and redeemed me from all of my sins. He took my sins and, Father, thank You for loving me and You demonstrated Your love for me through Your Son Jesus Christ. Forgive me for all of my sins. Jesus, I open my heart to You. I welcome You to enter into my heart. I confess today that You are now my Lord and Savior. Thank You for forgiveness. I receive forgiveness. Thank You for Your blood that cleansed me from all of my sins. I will follow You, Jesus. Thank You for Your plan. I receive the Holy Spirit. And Holy Spirit, help me to follow the will of God in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. Remember that idolatry is evil, Purgatory is a lie, penance is a deception and Satan always used religion and unbelief to prevent people from being saved by the Lord.

With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward and the best is yet to come! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to get yourself copy of the Holy Bible (start with New King James Version), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a local Christian church that God has chosen for you (note: ask Him for a local church!) and find your place in the spiritual family (God’s family!).  Be planted when the Lord shows you the way! Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God. When you are at home, be in your room with the door shut and have fellowship with our Heavenly Father. On a personal level, practice Christian Habits in reference to what I published here and here. Remember the truth that God rewards the faithful abundantly  and continue to be people of the WordDeclare your love for Him as well!

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close to it for it is the Word of God. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion at all. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future. His return is what we must always remember and keep living with holiness under the watch of God. We can do our part in building up God’s kingdom here on Earth by preaching His Word, blessing the Jewish people and saving the countless lost and unsaved souls around us by leading them to Lord Jesus. Living as a Christian is always about the personal relationship with the Lord, and it is certainly not about religion. Never let the idolaters, the idol makers and other sinister forces fool you into becoming unholy.

In ending this, here are some videos of Christian worship music for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

A Look Back at V: The Original Miniseries (1983)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from watching V: The Original Miniseries and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Way back in 1983, I was fortunate to watch the 2-episode sci-fi mini-series on television titled V: The Original Miniseries. Because there was no Netflix, no YouTube, no Internet access and no DVD at the time, getting to replay the said mini-series as well as its sequel V: The Final Battle was really hard. Replays of them on local TV rarely happened.

Then in 2001, V: The Original Miniseries was released on DVD format and I got to watch it all over again with a good amount of enjoyment. In recent times, I purchased the Blu-ray release and replayed the original miniseries in high-definition at last!

You must be wondering if the original mini-series aged well through the decades, and is it still good to watch by today’s standards? While I will comment about its overall quality below, what I can say is that its theme about people fighting to be free from fascism, oppression, terrorism and dictatorship remains relevant to this day.

For his part, star Marc Singer stated: “I think themes of what holds society together and what tears society apart, those themes are universal themes and I think they’re always going to be relevant. I think there’s going to be a necessity for things like V to be revisited in order that society remember what it is that’s cohesive and coherent about it and why is it that we should all stand together and treat each other well.”  

With those details laid down, here is a look back at V: The Original Miniseries, written and directed by Kenneth Johnson. The first episode was broadcast on television in the United States on May 1, 1983.

V: The Original Miniseries

Early story

The story begins in El Salvador where camera operator Mike Donovan (Marc Singer) and his companion Tony risk their lives capturing footage of an armed conflict. As the two tried their best to move away from the heat of battle, a helicopter of the enemy tracks them and corners them. Just as hope seems lost for Mike Donovan, the helicopter suddenly flies away. He turns to the other direction and witnesses the presence of a huge, floating saucer-like space ship coming his way. He begins to record footage of it.

Soon enough, several other space ships arrive and float above many other cities around the world. In America, medical student Julie Parrish (Faye Grant) and her colleagues carefully watch the TV news coverage. In a nice neighborhood, several residents – including Robin Maxwell (Blaire Tefkin), Eleanor Dupres (Neva Patterson), Daniel Bernstein (David Packer) and his grandfather Abraham (Leonardo Cimino) to name a few – marvel at the sight of a space ship above them. At another location, the research of scientist Robert Maxwell (Michael Durrell) and his colleague got interrupted with the arrival of a space ship.

The Visitors formally begin their new relationship with the people of Earth.
Diana of the Visitors played by Jane Badler.

Some time later, the Visitors make verbal contact with the people around the world using varied languages of Earth. In a special arrangement held at the top of the United Nations (UN) building in New York closely viewed on TV by the general public, the Visitors reveal themselves represented by John (Richard Herd) who expresses their message of reaching out peacefully to the people of Earth, seek their help and, in return, share with them their advanced technologies that could help humanity a whole lot for future generations. The Visitors are human in appearance but speak with very distinct sounds.

As a result, the governments of Earth agree to the offer of the Visitors and establish ties with them. Symbolically, a large group of Visitors’ engineers led by Diana (Jane Badler) and security chief Steven (Andrew Pine) arrive at a refinery to formally begin collecting chemicals and minerals.

Then things start to turn bad…

Quality

I can clearly declare that the writing and directing done by Kenneth Johnson remains great, and for many reasons why. On storytelling, Johnson (who was inspired by the anti-fascist novel It Can’t Happen Here and made an adaptation of it before finally coming up with V) clearly took his time on establishing the core concept stage-by-stage, and he also found efficient ways of explaining details to viewers by using in-story news reports and videos and retrospective as effective tools of exposition (these helped cut down the reliance on expository dialogue).

As the story goes on, Johnson carefully introduced the many characters on-screen (including the use of quick introductions of some characters who are located away from others they are connected/related with), established who they are and, most notably, showed how the events that took place affected them.

The Visitors (and one member of their youth auxiliary movement wearing brown) posting propaganda material to condition people’s minds they are friendly and trustworthy. These posters are familiar to many Nazi propaganda materials used in Europe decades earlier. Prior to the release of the Original Miniseries, a real-life marketing campaign of putting up such posters happened in real life.

Johnson also used symbolism which reflects what happened decades ago in Europe with the rise of the Third Reich. The Visitors’ symbol resembles the Nazi Swastika while the persecution of scientists (as well as their families and associates) resembles the Nazi persecution of Jewish people, and the scene of Daniel Bernstein joining the Visitors through their “Friends of Visitors” movement recalls memories of the Hitler Youth. I should state that Earth citizens who chose to collaborate with the aliens from space (strongly symbolized through Eleanor Dupres), images of the armed Visitors watching several helpless Earth people being taken away from their homes and the dominance of propaganda over the free press also reflect what happened back in World War II when the Nazis occupied many parts of Europe. The fact that Johnson used alien humanoids as the Visitors make them a more universal antagonistic force that viewers can relate with.

When it comes to the cast members and their respective performances, there is a whole lot to enjoy here and I can confirm that the quality of dramatic performances is pretty good and adds a whole lot of believability to the story. The most notable performer here is none other than Faye Grant who believably portrayed Julie Parrish on her in-depth transformation from a promising medical student to a reluctant organizer of a movement of freedom-loving people called the Resistance. Faye Grant excellently portrayed emotions and even showed the fragile side of Julie as she struggles to strengthen herself to lead her fellow people who seek freedom and survival. Julie also is the most charismatic and likable character in my view.

Marc Singer’s Mike Donovan is the closest thing this miniseries has to an action hero. Donovan is not a soldier, nor a policeman, nor a combat specialist. He is a hard-working media employee who has covered a lot of armed conflicts overseas and along the way he learned how to fight. As he is not a fighting machine, Donovan was portrayed to be vulnerable and really ends up struggling a lot. In a way, Donovan symbolizes people who take action once they realize what is wrong and what lies they have been fed with. It should be noted that before Bruce Willis wowed audiences as the vulnerable hero John McClane in Die Hard, Marc Singer’s Donovan was the vulnerable and struggling action performer realized ahead in time. On the dramatic side, Donovan’s talk with his mother Eleanor is a great scene to watch, and his contrast with Kristine Walsh (Jenny Sullivan) must be seen! If you ask me, Mike Donovan is Marc Singer at his best!

Faye Grant’s portrayal of Julie Parrish is highly believable complete with a good range of emotions. Her character development all throughout the Original Miniseries is very believable.
Marc Singer as Mike Donovan.

The other most notable role is none other than the Visitors’ commander Diana excellently played by Jane Badler. Diana was played to be charismatic, powerful, and sadistic at the same time. She is not a mere evil figure nor is she your typical pure evil antagonist. In fact, she is the powerful extension of an unseen high authority of the aliens and this alone makes her worth your attention. Also, through her interactions with her fellow aliens Steven and Brian (Peter Nelson), you will see very interesting traits of Diana’s personality. I should state that Jane Badler’s eyes and expressions really gave her character a very commanding presence on-screen. Even though her screen time is not dominant, Diana’s impact remains very strong.

As for the other cast members and their contributions in the film, I can state that Robert Maxwell was excellently portrayed by Michael Durrel to be the very caring father striving to protect his family even as society has been manipulated to demonize scientists like him. Daniel Bernstein is clearly the traitorous Earthling who has gotten so involved with the Visitors, and I am confident that David Packer will get on your nerves. Willie is the good-natured Visitor who tries to fit in with the people of Earth and his friendship with Harmony Moore (Diane Cary) is very symbolic. Given the reputation of Robert Englund as a horror icon, his performance as Willie is a must-see!

The most notable of all the supporting cast members here is none other than Leonardo Cimino’s Abraham Bernstein who is a Jewish man who went through the Holocaust and survived to establish the family in America only to see evil return in the form of the Visitors. His dramatic scene of protecting a certain family is a must-watch, and most likely it will stir your emotions.

This scene shows the contrast between Abraham Bernstein (Leonardo Cimino) in the background and his grandson Daniel (David Packer) in the foreground. Abraham is an old Jewish man who went through the Holocaust and lived on. Daniel, who is 17-years-old, willingly joined the Visitor’s youth auxiliary movement which parallels that Hitler Youth.

In addition to being successful with telling the story, spreading the details and getting solid performances from the cast, Kenneth Johnson also proved to be really crafty with the way the camera captured images and how the very important moments were presented to captivate viewers. Johnson’s work here is clearly a labor of love. As for the music, Joseph Harnell did a good job overall. His style gives V a distinct aesthetic on tunes and I noticed his music becomes more lively late in the 2nd episode. Harnell also knew how to add musical excitement when the narrative needed a boost of energy or speed.

People of Earth, including children, are helpless under the Visitors.

Last but not least, I want to talk about the action and visual effects here. The action is, for the most part, raw and believable to watch. The action performers dressed as the Visitors never looked like they were trained but at least their ways of positioning themselves to fire their laser weapons made up for it. The hard action has that raw aesthetic which I actually liked because the action performers – including Marc Singer himself – were convincing with the way they exerted efforts. In this modern age of wire works and digital effects, seeing raw action and real human effort combined with risk taking is refreshing to watch.

More on the action scenes, I should state that the concept of showing the humans using conventional guns against the laser-armed Visitors was done in a satisfying and believable manner on-screen. Such concepts could have turned out bad had Kenneth Johnson and his team lacked talent and precision. As for the visual effects, they resulted a mixed bag as far as quality and artistry are concerned. While the laser blasts still look very good (and their impact was felt thanks to excellent timing with the on-set explosions and fireworks), the huge motherships really look dated as they were matte images (not miniatures), and in a few shots the matte lines were clearly exposed in high-definition which broke the immersion for me. The smaller space crafts that were shown flying also had that similar, out-of-place look (note: they did not match the lighting of the live-action footage). Still, the practical effects used are good to see and the matte paintings used for two key shots in the 2nd episode were photo-realistic.  

Conclusion

The free and righteous praying to the Lord.

As it is clearly still great and engaging to watch, V: The Original Miniseries (1983) certainly aged well, it remains essential to watch even by today’s standards and most of all, its theme about the conflict of freedom and dictatorship makes it completely relevant to this day. It is a reminder about what your part in your society is, who you are, what your values are, and why you have freedom in your local society which can be destroyed by an alienating force once your fellow people refuse to resist it. As mentioned earlier, the cast is great and I am confident that you readers will find a character or two to relate with.

The focus of this miniseries on fascism invading the lives of the free people easily reminds me about how, in this modern age, sinister influences like Marxism, socialism, Communism, unrestrained political correctness and fascism poisoned the minds of millions of people through the academic system and turned them into social rebels, domestic terrorists, looters, rioters and new criminals who are so determined to go against their fellow people who do not share their beliefs. In modern-day America, the ongoing movements of Black Lives Matter, Antifa, SJWs, the anti-Semitic BDS movement, the rabid LGBTQ+ movement, the so-called democratic socialists and other agents of Satan have been harming patriotic Americans, attacking their values, taking the innocence of the youth and children away, destroying businesses and tearing down societies as we know it. The 1983 mini-series will remind you that from time to time, social order will be pushed hard by the invaders (be it people or be it influences so alien to the society) and the people who are righteous can choose to restore the said order as well as their respective lives.

Seriously, if you value your freedom, your culture, your values, your people and your faith in the Lord, you certainly would not want to submit yourselves to a foreign people who intend to destroy you.

No matter what happens, people should never lose faith in the Lord and they must look up to Him for deliverance. The Lord will punish the wicked and make ways happen to lift up the faithful. Clearly, V’s theme about the fight for freedom is truly universal.

Symbolism and socio-political relevance aside, V: The Original Miniseries (1983) also comes with a good amount of spectacle that make sense within the narrative. Do not expect to see extensive, over-the-top action scenes of modern-day cinema/television here but I assure you that the spectacle (note: even with the flawed matte imagery of the visual effects) in this production paid-off nicely in relation to the build-up of events throughout the story.

I strongly recommend you acquire V: The Original Miniseries on Blu-ray while it is still available. Watching it in high-definition is a great experience on my part.

Overall, V: The Original Miniseries (1983) is highly recommended! That being said, I strongly encourage you to buy it on Blu-ray disc format while it is still available and affordable. If you want more of Kenneth Johnson’s other work related to V, I suggest you to look for his book V: The Second Generation. Don’t forget to visit Johnson’s website at http://www.kennethjohnson.us/

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more V-related writings of mine, check out my retro comic book reviews of the V comic books (published by DC Comics) issues #1, #2, #3 and #4.

A Look Back at UltraForce #2 (1994)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Some time ago, I wrote and explored what would happen had superheroes been real and got involved with government leaders and the corporate media. Considering what has been going on for some time now, I hope that more readers would read the article and realize the conspiracy between political parties and corporate media is real and even dangerous. Did you even notice that in America, the Left-leaning media outlets have been distorting the facts about the riots involving the Marxist movement Black Lives Matter and the violent Antifa group? Also, did you notice that the liberal media distorted the meaning of the words peaceful protesters? Being a former local community print media publication journalist myself, I know why media outlets (whose owners and managers willingly get involved with those who wield power) would distort the news and insult the public’s intelligence. Really, the truth is that objective, truthful, responsible and professional journalism is shrinking.

Enough with the sickening news wave of negativity magnified by corporate media. It’s time to examine the superhero-government-media conspiracy followed by a fantastic conflict within the Ultraverse in this look back at UltraForce #2, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Gerard Jones and art by George Perez (breakdowns) and John Statema (finished pencils).  

The cover of the limited edition.

Early story

The story begins with UltraForce member Ghoul visiting a place within the woods. He stops at a huge grave site of the Exiles and tries to communicate with his former teammates but to no avail. He only got glimmers from them. After expressing himself to nobody, he walks away.

Shortly after, UltraForce composed of Hardcase, Prime, Prototype, Ghoul, Pixx, Contrary and Topaz meet with US President Bill Clinton, US Senator Bob Dole, UN’s secretary general Boutros-Ghali and Blackrock of the press in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC. As they discuss important matters together, Atalon makes his move against the civilized world…

Quality

The interactions between the members of UltraForce are richly written.

To start with, this comic book is a build-up type of story containing lots dialogue, exposition and explanatory pieces with not too much spectacle. That’s not to say this is a boring issue, in fact it still remained quite engaging to read. The very wordy script for this comic book was written with care and there were efforts made to keep the story cohesive even as it grapples with all the details for explaining. What the writer presented not only explained what is happening and why the world is being threatened by Atalon and his forces from underneath, the script also took its time in presenting the characters struggling with each other’s views while providing key moments that add some development to the personality of some of the characters (example: Prime’s interest in Chelsea Clinton reflected not only his teenage self but also his first encounter with her during the Prime monthly series). As far as storytelling goes, it succeeded in helping me understand the huge event transpiring and justified why UltraForce as a team is needed. When you think about it, Prime, Hardcase and Prototype already have major affairs of their own (especially when you read their respective monthly series) but Atalon is a major threat that requires the three to work together (along with Pixx, Ghoul, Topaz and the ever scheming Contrary).

More on the conspiracy between the superheroes, the government leaders and the corporate press, this comic book is more relevant than ever today even though superheroes do not even exist in real life. I like the moments when Contrary wanted access to government files which drew a strong reaction from Bill Clinton who in turn is being watched carefully by opposition leader Bob Dole. For his part, Hardcase expressed that his team does not want any power struggle between ultras and the government. And then Bob Dole stressed to Prototype that he works for Ultratech and said: I take it that you are a defender of the rights of the private sector?

Of course, the highlight of the writing is the dynamic interactions between the UltraForce members when they are on their own and struggle to work together due to their respective differences. The dialogue is very rich.

When it comes to visuals, this one is rather unique because it has breakdowns by the legendary George Perez with finished pencil work by John Statema. It’s not a pure Perez art work which is obvious but still I recognized the characters and there is still a high level of visual detail all throughout. Still a solid looking comic book!

Conclusion

This is a clever way of doing exposition…Bill Clinton learns more about Topaz and Ghoul but only the readers get a visual presentation.

Never mind the fact that it lacked spectacle, UltraForce #2 is still compelling to read mainly due to its strong writing, the memorable interactions between the characters and emphasis of the crisis that justifies the presence of the team complete with impact on the world. Not only that, this comic book event went the extra mile to emphasize crossing-over within the Ultraverse by including The Strangers (check out The Strangers #4 and Hardcase #4 for reference).

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of UltraForce #2 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $8 while the near-mint copy of the limited edition costs $12.

Overall, UltraForce #2 (1994) is highly recommended!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

The Lord is always watching us

The Lord is always watching us and there is simply no hiding from Him. What ever happens around the world, He sees them clearly. There is no doubt about that.

According to a news report by CBN News (with details sourced from KOIN News), the radical activists burned copies of the Holy Bible and an American flag in front of a federal courthouse in the city of Portland, Oregon, in the United States. While the protest movement involved with rioting and looting has lasted for months in America mainly due to the tragic death of George Floyd, the burning of the Bible is clearly very wrong and sinful.

That being said, it is unwise and wrongful for anyone to do the same thing committed by the radical activists. Burning the Bible is precisely what Satan wants to happen because he knows that when people know God through His Word, the evil one will be defeated.

Be assured that the Lord saw what the radical activists did in Portland, He saw the persecution towards Christians, He knows Christians got murdered, and He knows about the protesters’ invasion into a neighborhood.  Be assured that the Lord saw those acts of disobedience and wickedness!

Be assured that He will definitely punish the disobedient and the wicked in due time. When the Lord punishes, the punishment can NEVER be avoided!

Let’s take a close look at key segments of Chapter 28 of the Book of Deuteronomy regarding disobedience.

“But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.”

Deuteronomy 28: 15-16 (NKJV)

As seen in the above holy scripture, God is watching each and every one of us. While those who are faithful will be blessed, protected and loved by Him, those who are disobedient or rebellious or simply evil will be punished!

To all the protesters, all the rioters, all the looters, all the crooks, all the radical activists, all the terrorists and anarchists reading this, take note of the words from the above scripture: Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.

Now we continue with Deuteronomy below…

“Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Cursed shall be the fruit for your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. The LORD will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doing which you have forsaken Me. The LORD will make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from the land which you are going to possess. The LORD will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation, with severe burning fever, with the sword, with scorching, and with mildew they shall pursue you until you perish. And your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron. The LORD will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the heave it shall come down on you until you are destroyed. The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth. Your carcasses shall be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and no one shall frighten them away.”

Deuteronomy 28: 17-26 (NKJV)

To all the protesters, all the rioters, all the looters, all the crooks, all the radical activists, all the terrorists and anarchists reading this…Deuteronomy 28: 17-26 makes it very clear that if you keep on committing evil and disobedience, you will not only be punished by the Lord for sure but you will suffer very severely. You guys think that radical rebellion and disrupting societies will make your world better? Wrong! You guys believe that defunding the police will make society secure and stable? Wrong! You guys believe that rebellion is the answer to everything? Absolutely wrong!

You are only digging deep holes for yourselves, holes that you will have trouble climbing out of later. Even if you managed to climb out of the holes, your suffering will only keep lasting for as long as you keep on being wicked and disobedient. You may not realize it now but the undeniable truth is that God created you and it is your destiny to realize your true purpose under Him, a destiny that you failed to realize because you limited yourself to your own understanding and because you got carried away by evil influences. You really need to study the Holy Bible (God’s Word) to start your path to become good and reformed under the Lord.

If you insist with sticking with disobedience and wickedness, then you will keep on suffering as revealed more in the Book of Deuteronomy…

“The LORD will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart. And you shall grope at noonday, as a blind man gropes in darkness; you shall not prosper in your ways; you shall only be oppressed and plundered continually, and no one shall save you.”

Deuteronomy 28: 28-29 (NKJV)

To all the protesters, all the rioters, all the looters, all the crooks, all the radical activists, all the terrorists and anarchists reading this…you joined rebellious movements and allowed yourselves to be manipulated by your political/social/radical idols? You practice idolatry? That is sinful! Who exactly are your idols right now? Has it occurred to you that your political/social/radical idols are serving Satan and they lied to you and manipulated you to be evil? Has it occurred to you that idolatry is exactly what Satan wants you to do to prevent you from realizing God is your true creator? Did your political/social/radical idol influence you to burn copies of the Holy Bible? You keep on being idolatrous, you will only keep suffering and you will never inherit the kingdom of God. Learn from the following scriptures below.

Absolutely not! However, I am implying that when an unbeliever offers a sacrifice to an idol, it is not offered to the true God but to a demon. I don’t want you to be participants with demons!

1 Corinthians 10: 20 (TPT)

Surely you must know that people who practice evil cannot possess God’s kingdom realm. Stop being deceived! People who continue to engage in sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, sexual perversion, homosexuality, fraud, greed, drunkenness, verbal abuse, or extortion—these will not inherit God’s kingdom realm.

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (TPT)

“Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘You have seen all the calamity that I have brought on Jerusalem and on all the cities of Judah; and behold, this day they are a desolation, and no one dwells in them, because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke Me to anger, in that they went to burn incense and to serve other gods whom they did not know, they nor you nor your fathers. However I have sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying ‘Oh, do not do this abominable thing that I hate!’ But they did not listen tor incline to their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense to other gods. So My fury and My anger were poured out and kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as it is this day.”

Jeremiah 44: 2-6 (NKJV)

More on the issue of disobedience and rebellion against authorities, the Holy Bible is clear about people’s relationship with civil authorities. Let me share to you that disobedience is simply wrong and God is always watching! If you are always rebelling and being disobedient, have you ever thought about having a clean conscience and being a good citizen? If not, the holy scripture below will enlighten you.

Every person must submit to and support the authorities over him. For there can be no authority in the universe except by God’s appointment, which means that every authority that exists has been instituted by God. So to resist authority is to resist the divine order of God, which results in severe consequences. For civil authorities don’t intimidate those who are doing good, but those who are doing evil. So do what is right and you’ll never need to fear those in authority. They will commend you for your good citizenship. Those in authority are God’s servants for the good of society. But if you break the law, you have reason to be alarmed, for they are God’s agents of punishment to bring criminals to justice. Why do you think they carry weapons? You are compelled to obey them, not just to avoid punishment, but because you want to live with a clean conscience.

Romans 13: 1-5 (TPT)

To all the protesters, all the rioters, all the looters, all the crooks, all the radical activists, all the terrorists and anarchists reading this…you surely spent a lot of your energy and time believing in the falsehood that looting, rioting and destroying businesses and properties are just ways of reforming society. Wrong! You seriously believe it is right to harm people who don’t share your radical views? Very wrong! You seriously believe it is right to bring down crosses because of your distorted views about racism? Very wrong! What you have committed (and keep on committing) is wicked and unjust! You are trapped by evil and the spirit of rebellion! You should learn that Adam’s rebellion towards God is the root cause of the chaos in this screwed-up world we live in and God sent His Son Jesus to redeem the world. Be assured that the Lord will punish those who stay wicked as well as those who keep on committing injustice! Read the scriptures below…

“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the despicable, the murderers, the perverts, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all deceivers, they will find their place in the lake of fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Revelation 21: 8 (TPT)

Lovers of God hate what is phony and false, but the wicked are full of shame and behave shamefully. Righteousness is like a shield of protection, guarding those who keep their integrity, but sin is the downfall of the wicked.

Proverbs 13: 5-6 (TPT)

There are six evils God truly hates and a seventh that is an abomination to him: Putting others down while considering yourself superior, spreading lies and rumors, spilling the blood of the innocent, plotting evil in your heart toward another, gloating over doing what’s plainly wrong, spouting lies in false testimony, and stirring up strife between friends. These are entirely despicable to God!

Proverbs 6: 16-19 (TPT)

Now the LORD gave me knowledge of it, and I know it; for You showed me their doings. But I was like a docile lamb brought to the slaughter; and I did not know that they had devised schemes against me, saying, “Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be remembered no more.”

But, O LORD of hosts, You who judge righteously, Testing the mind and the heart, Let me see Your vengeance on them, For to You I have revealed my cause.

Jeremiah 11: 18-20 (NKJV)

Very clear is the truth in the Holy Bible that God will punish the wicked and the disobedient. Those who decide to stay wicked and disobedient are destined to be punished by Him very severely.

There is good news however…it is not too late to save yourselves in front of the Lord who Himself is just, gentle, forgiving and caring. Let me reach out to those who have been wicked and disobedient reading this…you can still save yourselves not within the screwed-up world we live in but in the presence of God. It is only through the Lord you can become Christian, get reformed and experience peace. Learn from the words of Lord Jesus Himself below.

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3: 3 (NKJV)

“He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Mark 16: 16-18 (NKJV)

“I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!”

John 14: 27 (TPT)

How? Firstly, you have to stop being wicked and disobedient. Next, you must open your heart to the Lord. Next, you confess your sins straight to Him. Finally, you must submit to Him by getting born again and become Christian (a Child of God and a believe of Jesus). To be clear, you are not being forced here. Nobody is forcing you to submit to the Lord. The decision is all up to you.

As for the others reading this, if you have made your final decision to get born again, we can do it right here, right now!

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

I believe that Jesus is Your Son, and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty of my sins. I believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead and that He is alive! Right now, I call on the name of Jesus. Jesus, come into my heart. I receive You as my personal Lord and Savior. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me by the power of Your blood. Thank You for saving me and giving me eternal life! Help me now to follow Your plan for my life. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God as the Holy Spirit is in you! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward!

With your new life realized, make an effort to acquire a copy of the Holy Bible (New King James Version is recommended), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a church of born-again Christians near you and find your place in the spiritual family. Worship the Lord together with them and remember that each of you has a personal relationship with Him. Understand that your personal relationship with God is strictly off-limits to everyone, even to your biological family. Always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God. Take note that the Lord blesses the faithful abundantly.

The Holy Bible – the Word of God – is the ultimately authority to follow. God’s Word is essential, sacraments and radicalism are not! Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father.

In ending this, here are some Christian worship YouTube videos for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 


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