A Look Back at X-Men 2099: Oasis

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.

According to the online edition of Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an oasis is something that provides refuge, relief, or pleasant contrast. In the case of X-Men 2099, the open areas of the southwestern region of the United States is a dangerous place to be in even though they are free from oppressive systems of control that dominate cities. As such, it is the southwestern region in 2099 can be compared to the Old West in history where there are lots of desolate places as well as lots outcasts and outlaws. Unlike their mainstream counterparts, the X-Men of the far future are nomads and they don’t have a long-term place of residence they could call home. Considering how dangerous the region is for the mutants, a haven of peace, security and prosperity is always ideal to them but only if it is indeed real.

That is what we will explore in the one-shot comic book X-Men 2099: Oasis here.

But before proceeding with the review, it has to be emphasized first that the one-shot comic book which was made special with the painted art of the Hilderbrandt brothers Greg and Tim. For long-time X-Men 2099 scribe John Francis Moore, Oasis was like a big dream come true. When asked during an online interview about his recollections on making X-Men 2099: Oasis and working with the Hilderbrandt Brothers, Moore stated:

I was a fan of the Hildebrandt’s fantasy illustration, and I was blown away when Joey told me that they wanted to do an X-men 2099 project. I met with them in Joey’s office and they were both really great guys. I think they said they really liked Bloodhawk, so I knew he’d be a major player in whatever story we developed. They didn’t enter the project with a lot of conditions. They seemed genuinely happy to get to play in this corner of the Marvel universe.

I can’t remember ever writing a full script for any of my Marvel work. I gave them a plot and sometime later received Xeroxes of pencil art (Hildebrant art!) to dialogue. Then it went back for them to paint, and they did a phenomenal job. I only wish that it could’ve been published before the 2099 line was axed. It was a beautiful book that I think was sadly under promoted.

To find out if it is any good, here is a look back at X-Men 2099: Oasis published in 1996 by Marvel Comics with a story written by John Francis Moore and painted art done by Greg and Tim Hilderbrandt.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The comic book begins with a flashback set in Hong Kong in the year 2090. A much younger Shakti/Cerebra is on the loose trying to reach a ferry to Kowloon with a plan to hide in the back alleys of Tsimshatsui. Suddenly Lokjaw intercepts her and grabs her. They had a short history together and Lokjaw insists that Shakti should be grateful to her father who raised her to run his bio-shops. After a brief chase, something hits Lokjaw who fell into the water. It turns out Ryu Kobolt helped Shakti, and he has been instructed by his boss to offer her asylum.

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Luna and Skullfire explore a place.

In the present day of 2099 in New Mexico, Bloodhawk flies to his desert home not knowing he is being monitored. Two people, an old man with white hair and a lady, work together to stun the X-Men member and take him with them. A short time later, inside a high-tech facility, Bloodhawk wakes up finding himself restrained and being watched over by the lady and the old man. They tell him he is in the Promised Land, a place where the sins of the old world will be washed away. Using her powers, she touches Bloodhawk’s head and slowly turns him into his normal human form.

Meanwhile outside a deserted town near the border between Colorado and Kansas, Shakti, Tim/Skullfire and Luna arrive riding motorcycles. They are checking the potential presence of a mutant nearby…

Quality

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Really great visuals by the Hilderbrandt brothers!

It is very safe to say that this is one very ambitious X-Men 2099 story ever told by John Francis Moore. It sure has an epic concept showing that Oasis in the open region not only exists, but also serves as the closest thing humanity in America has to imitating Heaven built on top of the land. Oasis is the indoor paradise where mutants and humans gather together, live in peace and work together in tremendous ways that the X-Men could only hope to achieve in Halo City (note: this story is set some time after X-Men 2099 #25).

The titular place is clearly the centerpiece of the story backed with characters and threads from the past that explain how it got established. Part of the creation of Oasis is connected with Ryu Kobolt whom Shakti got close with many years back. Of course, someone else got involved with Ryu which directly connects with the creation of Oasis.

While it is also clear that the story took some inspiration from Christianity, I should say that the approach was done by rehashing old storytelling concepts like emphasizing a charismatic person who looks godly or messianic, people getting converted with ways that are not holy, false prophets misleading those seeking salvation, etc. With the ages-old concept of the mad scientists added, then there is conflict here for the X-Men to engage with. The story touches on themes like destiny, conversion, having the power to judge people and committing genocide.

As for the characters, John Francis Moore made the right move to utilize Shakti, Bloodhawk, Skullfire and Luna of the X-Men, however the other new characters such as Memphis, Pandora and Ryu pale in comparison with regards to importance (even though Memphis and Ryu each had a good amount of the spotlight and even some character development).

When it comes to the artwork, this is one great looking superhero, sci-fi story in painted form thanks to the Hilderbrandt brothers! Not only is their painted art beautiful to look at, there are also eye-catching shots of scenery, very detailed facial expressions and a very lively presentation of the action scenes and explosions! Each and every character painted – specifically Shakti, Skullfire, Bloodhawk, Luna, Memphis, Pandora and Ryu – has that touch of visual realism (note: not photo realism) that make them look more human to the eyes (especially the X-Men members when compared to how they were drawn by Ron Lim and Jan Duursema in the monthly series). This is one great looking comic book and easily one of the very best of the X-Men of 2099!

Conclusion

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The Oasis!

X-Men 2099: Oasis is a one-shot comic book that almost matched its high ambition. While it has some of the best painted superhero art of the 1990s ever, the storytelling just did not engage me that much. For one thing, its approach on taking inspiration from Christianity is very flawed not only due to rehashing storytelling concepts but also due to the fact that everything – including the titular Oasis – had to be concluded already. Even though there was a build-up leading to a final conflict, the payoff was not that great and ultimately there was a sense of rush in the 2nd half of the story.

What is also disappointing is the fact that the events told here did not really impact Shakti, Skullfire, Luna and Bloodhawk at all, nor was there anything added to the narrative of the X-Men 2099 monthly series. This is too bad because the existence of a haven where people can live in and be protected from the prejudice and violence in the region fit nicely with the concept of X-Men 2099 in the first place. Even though there was a reference to issue #25 during the first half, this comic book ended up looking like a dream story or a parallel universe tale with a $5.95 cover price! It seems to me like this was more like a cash-grab attempt to exploit comic collectors and the fans of X-Men 2099.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of X-Men 2099: Oasis, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy costs $14.

Overall, X-Men 2099: Oasis is a serviceable one-shot comic book. That being said, if you really intend to buy it, you should not pay more than $5 for it.


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

Idolatry is Unholy

We all live in a screwed-up world. To say the least, our world is chaotic filled with fake news, war, crime, dysfunctional governments, fascism, dictatorship, abortion, Communism, corruption, socialism, homosexuality, SJWs (social justice warriors) terrorism, atheism, religion, idolatry, secularism and the list goes on.

This is because Satan is the god of the world we live in and there are billions of unsaved and lost souls who do not realize the truth of the Word of God (the Holy Bible). They also don’t realize that they need to be saved (get born again), ask God for forgiveness, submit to Him and then accept Jesus as Lord and Savior so that they can be saved and live on as true Christians driven by faith (not religion).

As I mentioned before, being religious is NOT the same as being faithful. In fact, religion is one of the more effective tools (in tandem with atheism) used by Satan to prevent people from becoming children of God. Religion itself is a hindrance to truly becoming Christian. Religion also has a bunch of man-made unholy rules like so-called blessed sacraments which prevent people from realizing the truth in the Holy Bible. Religion also comes with traditions and rituals, which are not even holy.

Another notable thing of religion is idol worship – idolatry – which continues to mislead people and prevent them from worshipping God directly. Idolatry comes with worshipping man-made objects (statues, statuettes, carved objects), images and people. Idolatry also includes allowing ourselves to be dominated by elements that prevent us from being dedicated to the Lord such as items we are too involved with (example: the smartphone), obsessing with people, being addicted to sex, being addicted to illegal substances, being addicted to liquor and even our local culture. Instead of trusting the Lord and being dedicated to Him, idolaters are trapped and actually separated from Him. Even the most prayerful, idol-worshiping, religion-oriented person is fooled into believing he is Christian when, in fact, he is not.

Having previously lived a life of following religion, its traditions, its rituals and wrongful teachings before getting saved (I got born again in 2018), I can clearly say that idolatry is unholy and is also more evil than it appears. I fully reject idolatry and I will never let it influence me now that I’m a child of God.

To put things in perspective, let’s take a look at key holy scripture in the New King James Version (NKJV) and The Passion Translation (TPT) of the Holy Bible.

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, not covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (NKJV)

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)

As seen above, idolatry makes one not only an idolater but also a practitioner and follower of evil which Satan loves. Idolatry involved with religion deceives idolaters into believing they are Christian when in fact they are unknowingly serving Satan. It does not matter that an idolater prays to a statue of Jesus because that is still unholy. Worship of Lord Jesus should be done to Him directly. Praying to a painting of Jesus (or any religion icon) or to an item deemed holy by a religion-driven church or hierarchy is also unholy. Take note of the following holy scripture below as well as the words bolded for clarity.

You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Exodus 20: 4-6 (NKJV)

As seen above, verse 4 of Exodus chapter 20 makes it clear that objects (which obviously include images or painting) are not to be made at all and, at the same time, our worship must always be directed to God Himself without any hindrance. God is jealous and that alone is reason for us to reject idolatry and be respectful and obedient to Him eternally. We worship the Lord directly and definitely no object, no image and no person in between! We Christians have worship leaders and pastors to guide us to worship the Lord directly, while always remembering we each have a personal relationship with God. A church that claims to be Christian but practices idolatry and has its members worship objects and the church leader is not truly Christian.

Exodus 20: 4 also looks back to the time when Israel was surrounded by people who worshiped images that were also referred to as gods. As it is true that no human effort could represent God, God Himself forbade the making of images or objects about Him. This same truth is also applied to Lord Jesus.

Meanwhile, idolatry that does not involve religion but other things like entertainment (examples: movie stars, celebrities, superheroes, video gaming), government figures (example: politicians), sports (example: basketball superstars), culture and the like is also an abomination to the Lord.

Superhero movies have been wildly popular worldwide for the past twenty years, and those films used comic books as basis for storytelling and visual concepts. How many times have people seen Spider-Man swing above people, Superman fly high, Batman fighting criminals and Wonder Woman saving people? While I enjoy superheroes in varied forms of entertainment media, I know fully well that they are all just pieces of fiction and I NEVER worshiped any of them. I will never worship them, ever. I am a geek but I prioritized my faith in the Lord and I always will maintain my personal relationship with Him. Definitely I reject idols and idolatry.

To my fellow geeks reading this, I urge you to never engage in idolatry no matter how passionate you are with your geek interest. Don’t worship movie stars, superheroes, images and don’t let highly interactive, deeply engaging video games from enslaving you. Always look up to Lord Jesus and follow God’s Word.

Idols are truly distracting and have been used by Satan to keep the unsaved and lost souls away from God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It’s bad enough that our world is dominated by powerful, sinister forces whose acts are further magnified by the news networks that reached billions of viewers (notably news junkies) every day.

When it comes to true Christianity, we the Christians who got born again are the Church and our true leader is Lord Jesus who has been in Heaven so long ago, and He promised to return to us here on Earth. We Christians living in the flesh here on Earth are to reject idolatry (plus religion, traditions and rituals) and focus on engaging in the enduring race of faith remaining faithful to the Lord, praying in tongues, studying the Holy Bible and applying its lessons into our lives.

Idolatry really has no place in Christianity and we Christians must never let it dominate us.

Remember God is always good, always faithful, always loving and caring, always our protector and always our source. All those idols around us are NOTHING like Him. This brings me to my next point – being an idolater means getting involved with demons and paganism. Take a close look at the holy scriptures below.

They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods; With abominations they provoked Him to anger. They sacrificed to demons, not to God, To gods they did not know, To new gods, new arrivals That your fathers did not fear.

Deuteronomy 32: 16-17 (NKJV)  

“They shall no more offer their sacrifices to demons, after whom they have played the harlot. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations.”

Leviticus 17: 7 (NKJV)

To put things in perspective, idolatry is the gravest sin in ancient Israel (refer to verse 17 of Deuteronomy chapter 32). The laws pertaining to the sanctity of blood prohibit involvement in the pagan practices of foreign worship. This is connected to verse 4 of Deuteronomy chapter 6 which states: “Hear O, Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!

For its part, the early church encountered similar concerns when they tackled the question of Gentiles who came from pagan backgrounds coming to faith in Jesus as the Lord and Savior. Refer to verses 20 and 29 of Acts chapter 15, as well as verse 25 of Acts chapter 21.

More on idolatry making idolaters involved with demons, pay very close attention to the holy scripture below in the New King James Version and the Passion translation. Key parts bolded for you.

Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.

1 Corinthians 10: 20 (NKJV)

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)

Very clearly in the two translations of 1 Corinthians 10: 20, idolatry is absolutely wrong and it is NEVER EVER a proper form of worship to the Lord. Quite simply, you make an offer or a sacrifice to an idol, it is not for the Lord. You pray to an idol, you are not connected with the Lord. Instead, involving yourself with an idol means involving yourself with false gods or demons.

As for having statues, statuettes and images of the Lord (or those so-called icons – both the dead and the living persons – of people trapped by religion), those things are never necessary for Christians. We the faithful Children of God should always reject idols, focus on the Lord and live by His Word. Get rid of those carved idols there in your household! Get rid of those paintings or other forms of images there in your household! Stay away from those unholy parades/processions that highlight statues for worship! Avoid worshiping people no matter how charismatic they look! Reject Satan, the demons and other forms of evil! Simply worship the Lord directly and always remember Jesus is always alive and is watching us from Heaven!

Going back to 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10, read it once more and you will realize that being an idolater will make you spiritually unholy and unworthy of God’s kingdom. It is undeniably true! 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 clearly shows that idolaters belong with other unholy and unrighteous elements such as sexual immorality, adultery, sexual perversion, homosexuality, fraud, greed, drunkenness, verbal abuse and extortion. Really, no faith-driven Christian would want to be deemed unworthy by God by embracing idolatry and all those unrighteous elements. The people trapped by the darkness of religion or unbelief, however, are among the idolaters, the adulterers, the covetous, the extortionists and the like. As such, those unsaved and lost souls need to be prayed over so that they will realize the Truth of God’s Word and someday make the decision to get born again and become a child of God.

As Christians driven by faith and living by God’s Word, we certainly do not want to fail in our pursuit and in our personal relationship with Him. Idolatry is a sin and this leads to the final holy scripture for this piece.

We know that we are God’s children and that the whole world lies under the misery and influence of the Evil One. And we know that the Son of God has made our understanding come alive so that we can know by experience the One who is true. And we are in him who is true, God’s Son, Jesus Christ—the true God and eternal life! So, little children, guard yourselves from worshiping anything but him.

1 John 5: 19-21 (TPT)

Now that my newest teaching about idolatry is done, I would like to reach out to all and any unsaved or lost souls among you readers. This is your opportunity to get born again and become Christian. The decision is yours, not mine.

If you seek salvation and are ready to submit yourselves to the Lord, and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then 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! Praise the Lord and always be faithful to Him! No more darkness in your life caused by unbelief or religion. Your new life under Christ has truly begun!

From this point on, acquire for yourself a copy of the Holy Bible (New King James Version is recommended), study it and apply its many lessons in 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. Get used to Christian rock music. Your personal relationship with God is strictly off-limits to everyone, even to your family.

The Holy Spirit is in you and you are now a new creation! Remember that God loves you and He is definitely happy over your conversion.

In ending this article, I embedded these Christian worship music videos for your enjoyment and the strengthening of your faith in the Lord. No more idols and other forms of sin in your life. Move forward with Lord Jesus eternally!

Now is the time for you and your spiritual family to keep on being the fearless and aggressive Church of Lord Jesus! Now is the time for you to realize that God made a plan for each and everyone of us before we were even created (refer to Jeremiah 29: 11)! Now is the time to realize that God created us and rewards the faithful abundantly (refer to John 10: 10).

Now is the time for harvest under Lord Jesus! Spread the Word of God, help save the unsaved and lost souls worldwide.


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 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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back At Superman and Spider-Man

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.

I miss the old times when big rivals Marvel and DC Comics would set aside competition temporarily to team up and rely on their respective comic creators to make superhero crossover comic books that the fans can enjoy.

Back in the 1970s, key developments related to the comic book adaptation of The Wizard of Oz brought the two rivals together as partners. In 1976, Marvel and DC’s first superhero crossover Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man got published and to this day many comic book collectors and geeks I encountered still enjoy it. A few of them even called it a classic.

The collaboration between Marvel and DC continued in 1981 with Superman and Spider-Man which was published as issue number 28 of the Marvel Treasury Edition series.

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The cover.

This is my look back at Superman and Spider-Man.

The comic book

Scripted by then Marvel Comic editor-in-chief Jim Shooter (with Marv Wolfman mentioned for plot suggestions) with art drawn by John Buscema and inkwork done by Terry Austin, Al Milgrom, Steva Leialoha, Walt Simonson, Bob Layton, Joe Rubinstein and Bob Wiacek, the comic book begins when Spider-Man swings into a construction site where he encounters several armed men and stops them singlehandedly.

Even though he stopped the bad guys, Spider-Man’s spider sense bothers him making him speculate that, because there’s no clear danger around him, the construction site seemed to be a threat.

After Spider-Man swings away from the police who just arrived, classic Marvel supervillain Doctor Doom watches via surveillance video and he was bother by the way things turned out.

“I did not like the way Spider-Man paused and look around after subduing the thieves – – as if he sensed something unusual about the excavation! Those accursed spider instincts of his,” Doom said before proceeding with his master plan.

A day later, the Hulk arrives in Metropolis causing lots of damage. Separately Superman and Spider-Man arrive to contain the green guy. However, things are not what they seem. This is where the story description ends.

Quality

What this comic book lacked compared to the 1976 Superman-Spider-Man crossover is visual impact. Clearly John Buscema had to follow closely the script which called for multiple panels per page and that left him little room to draw scenes dynamically. That’s not to see the art is weak. In fact, Buscema’s art is pretty good and he has deep knowledge about how the characters (including those many supporting characters and other minor characters from both Marvel and DC Comics) really looked from the size of Hulk’s body, the details on Wonder Woman’s costume, the distinctive look of J. Jonah Jameson, Perry White, etc. In short, I recognized the characters very easily.

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This remains fun to read.
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Peter Parker in Metropolis along with the Superman supporting characters. This is one great element that made this comic book worth reading.

While the high number of panels per page limited him, Buscema managed to come up with some action shots that packed some impact.

When it comes to writing and storytelling, this comic book exceeds that of the 1976 Superman-Spider-Man crossover big time! To start with, the plot is much more elaborate, more detailed and yet consistently remained easy to follow.

While the 1976 crossover had the most popular villains of Superman and Spider-Man as the representation of evil, this one instead had Dr. Doom and Parasite. The great news is that these two super villains complement each other nicely and that itself adds good depth into the plot. Dr. Doom is a major schemer and Parasite fitted nicely within his master plan for global chaos.

Regarding dialogue, the script had a lot of strength and was also specific in capturing the personalities of the superheroes, the super villains and the supporting cast. I can easily identify J. Jonah Jameson, Perry White, Lois Lane and others through the dialogue.

Not to be outdone is the deeper approach to the crossover aspect of the story. Right from the start, the comic book creators expected us readers to suspend disbelief and start believing that while the story is non-canon, the respective universes of Marvel and DC Comics co-existed. Because there were TV shows of Wonder Woman and the Hulk playing, the two characters were included in the comic book adding depth to the crossover.

Speaking of crossovers, this comic book was not limited to Superman and Spider-Man. The encounter between the Hulk and Superman was a short but sweet spectacle to read. The encounter between Wonder Woman and Spider-Man meanwhile was short yet fun.

Adding more to the fun in this comic book was how Clark Kent interacted with the Spider-Man supporting characters while Peter Parker interacted with the Superman supporting characters. I enjoyed every moment of these scenes.

As far as narrative is concerned, this comic book is slightly slanted towards Superman. One factor behind this was the implementation of how local authorities interact with Superman and Spider-Man. Whenever he solves crime, Superman is highly respected by the public and the police. This is not the case with Spider-Man who is often perceived to be a social menace even though he helps solve crimes. Another factor was that Superman did more detective-type work (including a visit to Latveria) while Spidey hardly contributed anything to the plot’s development.

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Nothing can be more frustrating than getting attacked by police officers when you try to help them solve their problems.

Regardless, the two icons got a fair share of the spotlight during the final stages of the story and there was enough spectacle to enjoy.

If there is any complaint I have, it would be the comic book creators’ reluctance on fully connecting itself to the 1976 crossover. In the scene wherein Peter Parker was guided into the film editing room by Jimmy Olsen, he recognized Lois Lane and remembered meeting her in the 1976 crossover (which ended with socializing). And yet when Spider-Man and Superman get together in this comic book, there was a noticeable lack of friendliness and personal cooperation between them even though they bonded nicely in the 1976 story.

Conclusion

Overall, Superman and Spider-Man is indeed a highly engaging, fun-filled superhero crossover comic book. For me, it is a true literary classic and definitely worth searching for out there. I read this crossover many times from start to finish and even though I knew the plot and the dialogue, I still had a lot of fun reading along the way. With the combined talents of Shooter, Buscema and many others, this superhero crossover was indeed one of the very best stories ever told by Marvel and DC Comics.

Given the current corporate climate Marvel and DC Comics are now in, it is very unlikely we will see another creatively fun superhero crossover collaboration between them happening soon. For the newcomers reading this, Marvel is owned by the Walt Disney Company while DC Comics is owned by Warner Bros.

Whether you search for the original comic book or its inclusion in a volume of The Marvel/DC Collection: Crossover Classics Volume 1, Superman and Spider-Man is highly recommended!


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. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. 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

 

My Observations: Komiket South 2019

Yesterday around lunch time, I took time out to attend a geek and special interests event that targeted South Metro Manila and Cavite residents. It was the Komiket South 2019 event held at the ground floor of SM Southmall in Las Piñas City.

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The place where the creators, fans and buyers gathered.

To put things in perspective, Komiket is an affordable komiks and art market that aims to discover new creators, readers and launch new komiks. “Komiks” is a local term referring to comic books produced by local creators. Decades ago, there were several comic books (or pages published on magazines) published here in the Philippines that highlighted local society as well as the fantasy talents of local creators. Such comics were published in Tagalog, the leading local language here in the Philippines.

The event was a nice gathering of creative people, most of which were artists who showcased their talents through the forms of comic books, stickers, posters, post cards and other collectible items. Such items were offered to customers who passed by out of curiosity or with intention to buy.

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Pop culture art in the form of cards, pin-ups and stickers.
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This particular booth attracted a lot of young people.
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A view during my walk through.

Along the way, I met with Damy Velasquez III, one of the creators selling independently published comic books. We had a nice chat about what were displayed, he allowed me to browse a few of the comic books and I decided to purchase one of his comic books titled The New DI-13 #1 (pronounced as “dee-trese” which ironically rhymes with Dick Tracy). Once I read it, I’ll publish a review here.

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My copy of The New DI-13 #1.

There were other indie comic books from other creators also displayed nearby. Among those I checked had black-and-white and Tagalog language presentations. There were some comics with color though.

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An artist writing down something.
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Button pins and stickers of Don Fumar.

Komiket South 2019 was a lively event that took place on May 25 and 26. It’s nice to see such events get held here in South Metro Manila and I hope that more of these will be held in the near future. There is nothing like meeting the creative people behind the artworks, the comic books and other collectible stuff.

If another Komiket or something similar happens within the south, I would attend it.

 

Why The No Man’s Land Scene In Wonder Woman Is Iconic

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from watching this feature film and doing online 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.

From time to time in the world of cinema, something very significant happens on the big screen which impacts moviegoers deeply. Eventually they talk about for months or even years after seeing it. In due time, such memorable sequences or scenes become iconic. What remains talked about among moviegoers and superhero culture fans until now is the No Man’s Land scene from the acclaimed 2017 superhero movie Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot and directed by Patty Jenkins.

Released on June 2017, Wonder Woman grossed $821,847,012 worldwide and was also critically acclaimed. Its optimistic tone made it stand out among the DC Cinematic Universe movies and it has been argued that Wonder Woman was Warner Bros.’ serious effort to symbolically pull their cinematic superheroes out of the cloud of darkness that started in 2013 with Man of Steel.

Wonder Woman had it all. Great hard-hitting action, humor (nicely performed by the supporting cast), good pacing, nice cinematography and of course the very fine performances by the actors especially with Gal Gadot’s portrayal of Diana/Wonder Woman.

Among its many scenes, the No Man’s Land sequence is the most defining piece of the film laced with great cinematic art, meaning and powerful symbolism. It’s a very iconic scene that deserves to be seen again and again. The scene also helped the movie win the Best Fight Award of the 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards.

Why is the No Man’s Land scene so iconic?

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The moment that captivated moviegoers worldwide.

1) It introduces Wonder Woman’s iconic imagery to the world (both within the movie and to moviegoers) – Wonder Woman has been around since 1941 and for the most part she wears the tiara, the bracelets, the strapless top and the like. For the movie, the scene marked the first time ever Wonder Woman appeared wearing her famous costume (specifically a sacred Amazon armor within the story) introducing herself not only within the movie but also to the moviegoers in the cinemas. This scene was accompanied with the very powerful musical score of Rupert Gregson-Williams. By watching and listening, Wonder Woman’s first appearance in her armor symbolized the start of her effort to save people and turn the tide against evil and darkness.

2) Diana: No. But it’s what I’m going to do! – In the moments before Diana makes her appearance on the battlefield, she encounters a suffering woman carrying a child who asked for her help and tells her that their village was seized and her villagers who could not escape end up as slaves.

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Diana listening to a desperate lady whose village got ravaged.

Diana tries to convince Steve Trevor to help the affected people but he insisted on pushing through with their mission. For your reference, posted below is the dialogue from the film.

Steve Trevor: This is no man’s land, Diana! It means no man can cross it, alright? This battalion has been here for nearly a year and they’ve barely gained an inch. All right? Because on the other side there are a bunch of Germans pointing machine guns at every square inch of this place. This is not something you can cross. It’s not possible.

Diana Prince: So… what? So we do nothing?

Steve Trevor: No, we are doing something! We are! We just… we can’t save everyone in this war. This is not what we came here to do

(Diana moves away from Steve, loosens her hair, wears her tiara and turns back to Steve)

Diana Prince: No. But it’s what I’m going to do.

These moments before Wonder Woman’s rise clearly show that she is dedicated to saving people. Her disagreement with Steve was reasonable and the guy, who witnessed the Germans and Amazons clashed early in the film, underestimated Diana’s bravery and special abilities. Diana made the right decision even though her act looked suicidal to the men on both sides of the field. There is just no way she would ignore the fact that people got overwhelmed and have suffered. More importantly, the build-up that started with Diana’s talk with the suffering lady was simply perfect and very timely leading to Wonder Woman’s rise on the field.

3) She stood up for what she believed in – Not only was the No Man’s Land scene a fine display of Wonder Woman’s courage and heroism, it was also an extension of what she believed in and was she learned having grown up in Themyscira. Diana is a warrior but she’s not the type who focuses mainly on achieving victory only nor is she the type who gets satisfied with the use of violence as a means to win. She grew up oriented by her queen mother and Amazon superiors to be compassionate, brave, inspiring and loving. After turning the tide against the Germans and liberating the village, she did NOT develop a personal hatred nor grudge against the Germans. After all, she knew that men can be corrupted and yet they can still be reformed and saved. Wonder Woman stood up, moved forward, deflected the many pieces of ammunition fired at her and inspired Steve and their allies to follow her lead and turn the tide of battle. That’s a great reflection of her heroism, bravery and her dedication on standing up for what she believes in.

Wonder Woman cares about the people who need help and in return we the moviegoers care for her and look up to her as the Queen of Superheroes. She definitely is the kind of superhero we need to see more of in movies.

4) The No Man’s Land scene is comparable with real life art emphasizing struggle – Many may not have realized it until now but the iconic scene in the movie is quite comparable to real life artworks that emphasized bravery, struggle and the effort to be free if not victorious. The one classic art that comes to mind is Liberty Leading the People painted by Eugene Delacroix. That 1830 French artwork about the July Revolution showed a lady with a phrygian cap leading guiding her armed companions and leading the way as they step over some dead bodies on the ground. Liberty in that art was depicted by the painter as a lady of the people as well as a goddess-like figure. Wonder Woman in the No Man’s Land scene flowed with a nice pace using a few slow-motion shots to emphasize her ability to block a bullet with her brace. It’s like looking at a painting being animated. And then as Wonder Woman creates opportunities to beat the opposition, the allied soldiers gained the courage to climb up and run up the field to fight. As the breakthrough happens, Wonder Woman said, “Steve! Let’s go!”

Moments later there is a short shot of Wonder Woman in the foreground running (towards the camera) while the many allied soldiers in the background follow her.

The No Man’s Land scene is quite artistic in its own style and if it is not inspired by the Liberty Leading the People painting, it sure shares common themes of courage and battle with it.

Conclusion

The No Man’s Land sequence is truly iconic and it will always be identified with the cinematic Wonder Woman and even actress Gal Gadot herself. While waiting for Wonder Woman 1984 to come out, we can enjoy replaying Wonder Woman on Blu-ray and watch the story unfold. The No Man’s Land scene is always engaging and artistic to watch. Patty Jenkins and her creative team deserve our appreciation and gratitude.


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