A Look Back at Backlash #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.

Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s arts and culture enthusiasts, Image Comics fans and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the wild 1990s and explore a part of the WildStorm universe through a tale of Backlash!  

Backlash #1 was indeed a fun and engaging read with the creative direction spearheaded by Brett Booth who was a co-writer and the illustrator. It built-up Backlash as a major WildStorm figure while also emphasized the concepts from his previous appearances in the Kindred limited series which paired him with Grifter. As seen in issue #1, he freed Taboo and it was clear that she was designed to be a key part of the Backlash series.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Backlash #2, published in 1994 by Image Comics with a story written by Sean Ruffner, Jeff Mariotte and Booth. Booth was the artist.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with a meeting inside the high-tech headquarters of the W.O.R. (Wildlife Organized Research), a front covering the outpost for the criminal organization called the Cabal. During the meeting, the fall of Helspont was discussed and talk about running the Cabal intensified. Just as it was made clear that a new beginning and new leadership were needed to manage the Cabal, a warlord called S’ryn arrives with the deadly Pike behind him. After briefly overwhelming opposition from a Coda warrior and H’tarh, S’ryn performs a ritual and gets the pledge of loyalty from those who recognized him as the new leader of the Cabal. The stage is set for further escalation between the Daemonites and the Kherubim.

In the city of Chicago, Backlash and Taboo spend time together in an apartment that looks worn down and not so clean. It turns out, both of them are fugitives and they are waiting for Cyberjack to complete his surveillance of the security of a hotel where a celebrity ball is set to happen…

Quality

In the middle of a special event, Backlash and Taboo spring into action as WildCATS’ Jacob Marlowe gets into trouble.

Compared to what happened in issue #1, this story moved at a moderate pace in relation to the new mission which involved espionage and suspense. It’s not the action showcase the previous issue was but rather more moderated as the creators took a new approach to not only tell a new story but also do its own build-up of the Kherubim-Daemonite war and other WildStorm universe concepts. The story is well-written and while there is a lot of expository dialogue and creative explanations implemented, it never felt forced. Along the way, the creative team started implementing crossover elements by having Jacob Marlowe of WildC.A.T.S.: Covert Action Teams as well as established Image Comics figure Savage Dragon (from Erik Larsen) included in the story and even getting involved with the operations that took place.

As for Backlash himself, you will see a little less of him in this tale (compared to issue #1) which is not surprising as the creative team focused more on the plot and had to handle the crossover elements. Backlash did not become a supporting character here and you will see some superhero spectacle from him, particularly in his rematch with a certain villain.

Conclusion

S’ryn gets challenged before he becomes the new leader of the forces of evil.

Backlash #2 (1994) is a fun ride that cleverly combined crossover elements with its own approach on building up the WildStorm concepts, notably the war between the Kherubim and Daemonites. It also shows the consequences of what happened in the 4th issue of the WildC.A.T.S. mini-series particularly within the side of the opposition. As such, this comic book is pretty much a sequel to the said mini-series. At this stage, there was clearly something prepared to entertain readers while maintaining focus on establishing Backlash (note: Marc Slayton was one of the Team 7 members) as a major WildStorm character.

Overall, Backlash #2 (1994) is 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 What If #40 (1992)

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 year 1992 and explore a part of Marvel Comics’ universe through the reimagined tales emphasized in the What If monthly series.

For this particular retro comic book review, we look at a What If tale that is related with the X-Men, specifically through one of their major characters – Storm. For the newcomers reading, Storm is the black X-Men member whose mutation allows her to manipulate the weather. As seen in X-Men comic books decades ago, Storm was portrayed to be tough and brave, and she became a highly valuable learner under Professor X (Charles Xavier). In the 1990s, Storm rose in prominence among the X-Men, she became leader of their Gold Team. Storm was portrayed in the live-action movies by Halle Berry and Alexandra Shipp. It’s just too bad Storm’s role in X-Men: Days of Future Past (note: for me, it is the best X-Men live-action movie ever) was minimal.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at What If #40, published in 1992 by Marvel Comics with a story written by Ann Nocenti and drawn by Steve Carr and Deryl Skeleton.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with the Watcher recalling scenes from the life of Ororo who was born to a mother (a tribal princess in Kenya) and a photojournalist father. After moving from America to Egypt, Ororo loses her mother and became an orphan. Along the way, she experienced severe claustrophobia as a result of being buried under tons of rock. Having survived, she became a thief in Cairo and eventually traveled into Africa by chance. There she discovered her true nature as a walking idol. She eventually meets Charles Xavier.

The Watcher then explores another thread of scenarios of Ororo’s life in which she never stepped on the eventual boat, never sailed for Africa and never met the tribe that worshipped her.

In Cairo, Ororo is a very young thief who made herself look like a male. She uses deceptive tactics on a foreigner who walked by. A short time later, Ororo goes to New York City identified as Jack serving an old man who teaches her to work hard, to gain respect from his friends and immerse herself in a world of grifters and hobos. Ororo lives and works as a thief in the city targeting people who have more than enough…

Quality

A look at Storm as the super-powered thief. It’s also a portrayal of her as a super villain on the rise.

Among the many What If tales related to the X-Men that I have read so far, this is one of the most well-written and most intriguing alternate universe stories I have read thanks to Ann Nocenti. This was also released at a time when Storm was already established as a brave X-Men team leader and a potential successor to Professor X. In this comic book, there is this strong twist to the established legacy of Storm as a youth and the exploration of what would happen had she remained a thief (a super-powered thief no less) and never followed Charles Xavier turned out to be very compelling in my experience. For one thing, Storm definitely would have given police officers – who clearly are inferior to the powered heroes and villains – a hard time and even help the crime wave overwhelm society’s defenders. It is also quite striking to see Storm to follow and serve a principled yet theft-oriented superior. In fact, this story shows the popular X-Men team leader as a super villain on the rise.

More on storm, Ann Nocenti’s script literally dissected notable traits of Storm’s personality that are connected to the established comic book legacy which creatively created something new that fits in well in this alternate universe story. Through Storm, the story also sheds light on how thieves view life believing that theft is a necessity and their so-called principles justify it. No matter what the thieves and criminals in general think, nothing justifies theft and crime at all and those who commit such acts must be punished accordingly Without spoiling the details, I can say that there are some grey areas within Storm that were nicely emphasized.

Conclusion

Storm as a male-looking teenager behind bars with the ladies who got apprehended. Scenes like this should remind you NOT to vote for political candidates who are soft and sympathetic towards crime.

What If #40 (1990) is indeed a great alternate universe portrayal of one of the X-Men’s most prominent characters of the time. The story is very well structured and the characterization of Storm was clearly organized by Ann Nocenti to be powerful and intriguing to read. This comic book also has a twist that you must see for yourselves as well as an ending that will either surprise or satisfy you depending on what you anticipated. Ultimately, this comic book should remind you all to avoid committing crime and the truth is that poverty is a curse and it NEVER justifies theft. Always remember that the Lord is watching you. For enlightenment, read Exodus 22:1-4, Exodus 22:10-15, Leviticus 6:2-7 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 in the Holy Bible.

Overall, What If #40 (1990) 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

Xbox-Bethesda Developer_Direct Livestream set for January 25, 2023, Starfield to have standalone showcase soon

For all the gamers and the loyal fans of Xbox and Bethesda reading this, you better get ready for lots of new stuff and announcements regarding upcoming games as the Developer_Direct livestream will take place on January 25, 2023 (at 12pm PT/3pm ET), Team Xbox announced recently. For those who are anticipating Starfield’s release this year, be aware that a standalone showcase of that Xbox-exclusive science fiction role-playing game (sci-fi RPG) from Bethesda will be held soon. Posted below is the precise Xbox YouTube spot for the Developer_Direct livestream.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Xbox.com announcement. Some parts in boldface…

Xbox and Bethesda will present a Developer_Direct on Wednesday, January 25, providing fans with an inside look at some of the games coming to Xbox, PC and Game Pass over the next few months.  

Presented by the game creators themselves from studios including Arkane Austin, Mojang Studios, Turn 10 Studios, and ZeniMax Online Studios, the Developer_Direct will focus on big features, extended gameplay showcases, and the latest info for Xbox games launching in the next few months, including The Elder Scrolls OnlineForza MotorsportMinecraft Legendsand Redfall 

To dedicate the proper amount of time for a deep dive into Bethesda Game Studios’ Starfield, a standalone show is in the works

Fans should tune in on Xbox channels (TwitchYouTube) and Bethesda channels (TwitchYouTube) at 12pm PT/3pm ET, January 25 to see all the latest on:  

The Elder Scrolls Online: Studio Director Matt Firor will unveil 2023’s major Chapter update, including the latest regions of Tamriel to become playable in ESO, as well as a major new feature coming in the game’s biggest update this year. The Developer_Direct will be immediately followed by the full, standalone ESO Chapter Reveal Event, hosted by Zenimax Online Studios, which will provide all the in-depth details ESO players will be keen to know. 

Forza Motorsport: The team at Turn 10 Studios have been hard at work, bringing fans the next generation of Forza Motorsport, built from the ground up to take advantage of Xbox Series X|S. Forza Motorsport is back, and we can’t wait to share more gameplay and exciting new details. 

Minecraft Legends: Mojang Studios will showcase an insider’s look into the PvP multiplayer experience in Minecraft Legends – the upcoming action-strategy game from the makers of Minecraft. Developed in partnership with Blackbird Interactive and launching this spring, don’t miss exclusive gameplay footage at the Developer_Direct. 

Redfall: The minds behind Dishonored and Prey, Arkane Austin, will showcase several minutes of gameplay from their upcoming FPS. The Developer_Direct will reveal single and multiplayer gameplay, showing more of how you and your friends will take down bloodthirsty Vampires on the picturesque island of Redfall, Massachusetts. Fans can expect to learn more about combat, customization, bosses, the open world, and more. 

If there is anything for me to say about the upcoming Developer_Direct, it is not only Team Xbox’s way of responding to the gamers’ constant inquiries or demands for new updates about new games this year, it is also their way of bouncing back to the criticism about their absence from The Games Awards 2022.

More notably, it seems to me that the Developer_Direct online event is Team Xbox’s new way of updating the loyal fans and the fun-seeking gamers about what to expect on the Xbox platform, when will the new games this year will come out, what features to look forward to, what can Xbox Game Pass (XGP) subscribers look forward to and the like. It is also their way of letting executives or representatives from Xbox game studios reach out to the gamers and establish a clear narrative so that confusion and uncontrolled expectations can be minimized just as Team Xbox’s marketing teams will ramp up the pre-release hype of the new games.

To be clear, it is simply too limiting for both Team Xbox and gamers to wait for the annual E3-related conference to happen just so that updates will be made. As such, I am anticipating that there will be more editions of this Developer_Direct online event to follow.

More on the Developer_Direct event of January 25, 2023, I am hoping that the respective release dates for Forza Motorsport (2023) and Redfall will be announced. 2022 saw the lack of big-time Xbox-exclusive games and the delays of Starfield and Redfall were strongly felt. For 2023, this is a big make-or-break year for Team Xbox. This is also the year for them to become more competitive than PlayStation and Nintendo in terms of publicity and setting the narrative. Apart from release dates, I am eager to find out what gameplay features of the announced games for the January 25 event will be revealed.

For those who are paying too much attention to Starfield not being part of the January 25 showcase, please keep in mind that such a high-profile game like that needs to have its very own event (perhaps Developer_Direct session #2) as it has tons of visuals, concepts, features and details that need to be emphasized by Bethesda. As it is an Xbox-exclusive game, there are lots of PlayStation fanboys who hate Xbox out there and they still cannot accept the fact that Starfield will never be released on the PlayStation platform and Microsoft-owned Bethesda is not obligated to release it on competing platforms. As such, anti-Xbox buzz connected with Starfield is being generated by those troublesome people right now and they are spreading lies and falsehoods about the Developer_Direct event. The successful integration of Bethesda into Team Xbox remains very painful for those people because they know that future sequels of The Elder Scrolls, Fallout and other Bethesda game franchises will not be released on their favorite platforms. They can get louder and more troublesome but you should not let them fool you.

Watch out for the Developer_Direct event on January 25, 2023.

In concluding this article, posted below for your enjoyment are Xbox-related videos.

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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 athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

A Look Back at Venom: Lethal Protector #3 (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 superhero enthusiasts, 1990s arts and culture enthusiasts, Marvel Comics fans and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the year 1993 and explore a part of Marvel Comics’ universe through the first-ever limited comic book series featuring one of Marvel’s most iconic villains – Venom.

In my previous retro review, Venom discovers a long lost section of San Francisco that fell deep underground. Even though it is cut off from the resources and fresh air of modern San Francisco, the lost city section is filled with homeless people and social outcasts. Even though he helped the city dwellers by defeating the two armed mechs (employed by a powerful organization who oppose the city dwellers and are in pursuit of something related to San Francisco’s park), Venom still gets rejected by the so-called council. This only led him to returning to the surface not knowing that he is being targeted by a certain group.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Venom: Lethal Protector #3, published in 1993 by Marvel Comics with a story written by David Michelinie and drawn by Mark Bagley.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Venom suffering from a sonic blast while being restrained by one of the armed members of the group called The Jury. Their leader (who wears a suit and necktie) introduces himself as Orwell Taylor and he addressed Venom as Mr. Brock. It turns out Taylor spent lots of time and resources researching everything about Brock and the alien costume. More shockingly, The Jury’s leader reveals that he lost his son Hugh years ago due to Venom’s arranged killing of him as he escaped from his prison cell in the federal prison called The Vault. Hugh Taylor is the first man Venom killed when he escaped.

Venom responds by say that he and his symbiote did not want to hurt anyone. This provokes Orwell Taylor into anger and he orders The Jury to kill Venom. Due to the lengthy explanations of Orwell Taylor, Venom managed to recover and regain strength which he uses to free himself and throw one Jury member to another causing quick chaos.

After punching another Jury member, Venom then moves out of the alley and away from Taylor and his team…

Quality

Very clearly, The Jury is a very formidable force of opposition. Their battle with Venom here comes with a lot of spectacle.

In terms of storytelling, this one is another improvement over issue #2 (which itself is an improvement over issue #1) as the plot got more interesting and even intriguing. For one thing, I like the fact that David Michelinie recalled Venom’s murderous escape from prison told way back in Amazing Spider-Man #315 (1989) and came up with the establishment of a very angry powerful father who formed the dangerous cybernetic team called The Jury. In a rather symbolic way, this comic book shows how Venom’s past comes back to haunt him and creatively, the battles between Venom and The Jury here are packed with a lot of action and visual dynamism delivered by Mark Bagley. The irony is that The Jury itself is not the main antagonist of this limited series as they are clearly presented to be a recurring force of opposition within Spider-Man’s realm in Marvel Comics’ shared universe of the time.

Still on the plot, the sinister organization hounding the dwellers of the lost city was revealed to be the Treece group whose leader is pursuing something very valuable to feed his greed. Still, even though this is already the third issue, the Treece organization’s presence is very subtle and as the force of opposition towards Venom, they are outclassed by The Jury.

As in the previous issue, Spider-Man got a good share of the spotlight but this one is even more limiting which should delight Venom fanatics who complained about Marvel’s icon overshadowing their guy with the symbiote. Spider-Man serves mainly as a tool for exposition as the creative team showed images from the past of Eddie Brock with his father (whom Spider-Man approached for answers).

The problem here is that showing flashbacks from the past and explaining how Eddie Brock became bitter and sinister as a result of receiving almost no affection from his father ruins the mystery of Venom as a character. During the time of Todd McFarlane drawing Amazing Spider-Man comics and the early Venom tales, the mystery of Eddie Brock’s past added to the intrigue of Venom and his quick rise as the deadliest villain Spider-Man ever faced. I understand that this limited comic book series had Venom as the protagonist who was in high demand among readers of the time but for me the creative team went way too far emphasizing Eddie Brock’s past.

Nothing changes the fact that Eddie Brock aided by the alien costume is a murderer who happens to have previously been a prolific print media journalist whose career got ruined by Spider-Man which in turn led him to a downward spiral and eventually to bonding with the symbiote that once bonded with Peter Parker. The flashbacks were pointless and if there really was an attempt to humanize Eddie Brock and make him sympathetic to readers, the creative team clearly failed.

Conclusion

Spider-Man with Eddie Brock’s father in California.

Venom: Lethal Protector #3 (1993) is a mixed bag. Its plot is clearly more intriguing and more interesting to read while there was enough creative space to show The Jury as a powerful force of opposition which is the result of Venom’s murder of Hugh Taylor (read: Amazing Spider-Man #315) while making a prison escape. The spectacle of the battle between Venom and The Jury must be seen! However, the creative team’s move to dramatize Eddie Brock’s past using flashbacks back-fired in my opinion and ultimately they destroyed whatever mystery was left behind Venom. As a protagonist, Venom has no appeal whatsoever and his portrayal here only reminds me that he works best as an antagonist opposite Spider-Man. Venom as a hero for those he perceived to be innocent and helpless remains forced and unconvincing.

Overall, Venom: Lethal Protector #3 (1993) is satisfactory.

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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

Xbox Series X and Forza Horizon 5 Premium Edition Bundle coming out for your enjoyment!

If you still have not yet acquired an Xbox Series X console but you already have the means to buy it, then you should seriously consider buying the Xbox Series X and Forza Horizon 5 Premium Edition Bundle once it becomes available for $559, Team Xbox announced recently. Having played Forza Horizon 5 a lot on my Xbox Series X since late 2021, I can say that the bundle is great value for you gamers as well as others struggling with inflation.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Xbox.com announcement. Some parts in boldface…

Introducing the Xbox Series X – Forza Horizon 5 Bundle, including an Xbox Series X and wireless controller, and Forza Horizon 5 Premium Edition with Hot Wheels Expansion, VIP Pass, Car Pass, Welcome Pack and a second expansion when available.  This Xbox Series X bundle will be available worldwide and will start shipping to retailers in the US, Canada and select markets in Asia this week. Bundles will start shipping to Europe, Latin America, and more regions around the world later this month.

The Xbox Series X bundled with Forza Horizon 5 and additional content offered for $559.

Xbox Series X: 12 teraflops of raw graphic processing power, DirectX ray tracing, a custom 1TB SSD, and 4K gaming – Xbox Series X is the fastest, most powerful Xbox ever. There are thousands of playable titles from four generations of consoles, and all games look and play best on the Xbox Series X. Load times are virtually eliminated and framerates are increased with a custom-built NVMe SSD, which enables larger, more robust games to operate at their full capacity.

Forza Horizon 5 runs at 4K and 60 frames per second on Xbox Series X in performance mode and provides the most technologically advanced Forza Horizon experience yet. You’ll get to explore the vibrant and ever-evolving open world landscapes of Mexico in the world’s greatest cars with 12 teraflops of raw graphic processing power, DirectX ray tracing, a custom SSD, and 4K gaming.  The power of the Xbox Series X console delivers incredible realism and immersion with a world rendered in higher detail and with extreme draw distances.

Forza Horizon 5 Premium Edition includes Forza Horizon 5 plus the Premium Edition add-ons -Forza Horizon 5: The latest entry in the open world racing series showcases powerful, all-new graphical features. Experience sweeping vistas and scan the distance to see the adventure that lies ahead. Encounter the smallest of details throughout the world, which is rendered with striking realism, down to the smallest details like the light that glows through each needle on a Cholla cactus. Our Mexican HDR sky captures illuminate the world to the point that you will feel as if you are right there. And thanks to Xbox Series X|S, ray tracing is utilized in ForzaVista to make the cars look even more true to real life.

Hot Wheels Expansion: Race 10 amazing new cars on the fastest, most extreme tracks ever devised. You can even design, build, and share your own Hot Wheels adventure! What’s not to love about that? You can blast off to the visually stunning, exhilarating Horizon Hot Wheels Park in the clouds above Mexico today.

VIP Pass: The VIP Pass features 3 exclusive Forza Edition cars, Crown Flair, Vanity Items, Emote and Car Horn, Player House, Double Credit race rewards, weekly bonus Super Wheelspins, and more to give your game a boost and make you stand out at the Horizon Festival. 

Car Pass: Expand your garage with 42 new cars, including 8 Formula Drift Cars to get you started in style. Plus, you’ll receive a one-time grant of each car to your in-game garage.

Welcome Pack: 5 special pre-tuned cars, a Player House, a one-time grant to own any car from the game’s Autoshow, and 3 one-time grants for any Common or Rare clothing item.

Second Expansion: The next Forza Horizon 5 expansion will be included when it launches.

Wow! That’s a ton of gaming value for those who will buy the Xbox Series X bundled with the blockbuster game! Indeed, Team Xbox is offering big value for $559 to those who want the premium, fun console gaming experience. I myself am still having fun replaying Forza Horizon 5.

Personally, I see this premium bundle announcement as a form of warm-up on the part of Team Xbox to deliver not just more game-related features and Xbox Game Pass (XGP) content but also the big-budget Xbox-exclusive games that are expected to be released this year such as Starfield (note: first half of 2023), Forza Motorsport (2023), Redfall (note: potentially May 2023) and others. 2022 is over and ended without big budget exclusive games and this is the year that Team Xbox should deliver the great stuff that cannot be found on PlayStation and Nintendo consoles. If you want tremendous gaming value and content at a small price per month, I encourage you to subscribe to Xbox Game Pass (XGP).

Watch out for the Xbox Series X – Forza Horizon 5 premium bundle online and at the local retailers.

In concluding this article, posted below for your enjoyment are Xbox-related videos.

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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 athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

A Look Back at Spider-Man 2099 #9 (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, superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts, Marvel 2099 fans 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 futuristic Spider-Man finally made his way back uptown after spending time in the old city of New York down below where he saw people living in poverty, violent gangs and Vulture 2099.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Spider-Man 2099 #9, published by Marvel Comics in 1993 with a story written by Peter David and drawn by Kelley Jones.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins at the Wellvale where Conchata O’Hara (mother of Miguel and Gabriel) suddenly suffers an attack from inside her body. The medics were called for emergency.

Elsewhere, Spider-Man jumps with excitement and relief after finally making it back from deep down the modern city. He almost gets hit by a hover car and decides to stop for a while at an isolated spot to calm down and reflect about what happened recently. He just defeated Vulture in battle below prior to climbing back up.

Suddenly, an armed Public Eye flyboy tries to apprehend him. After making getting near the flyboy and making himself look like he was about to submit himself, the flyboy communicates with his team. During that short moment, Spider-Man fires his organic web at the flyboy’s mouth which causes him to fire his weapon and miss. Spider-Man then knocks the flyboy out cold, leaving the communication line hanging…

Quality

The idolaters of Spider-Man 2099 spotted.

Considering everything that happened to Spider-Man in the previous few issues set deep underneath the modern city, this tale was crafted to develop the webslinger’s personality some more while showing for the first time ever the group of Spider-Man 2099 idolaters who are so obsessed, they go around wearing their idol’s costume and even take risks imitating his physical abilities (example: crawling on the wall). There is no good-versus-evil conflict here but more exploration of the modern society Miguel O’Hara has long been part of.

For one thing, at this point of the monthly series, Spider-Man 2099’s misadventures and acts in uptown New York not only caused disturbance with the modern society watched over by Alchemax, he also sparked a new group of people who perceive him to be their holy savior. This kinda reminds me of DC Comics’ very own Sons of Batman which is a youth group inspired by Batman, and to see the Marvel 2099 have its own version of the concept is a pretty neat move by the creators.

Speaking of characterization, the complexities of the relationships between Miguel O’Hara with his brother Gabriel, his mother Conchata, his romantic interest Dana and the relationships the others have with each other begin to really grow in this issue. The good news is that Peter David not only provided solid dialogue for each character but also clearly defined their respective personality traits and thoughts about others. To see Gabriel personally reacting to Kasey’s reaction towards Spider-Man’s body was amusing and even a bit hilarious.

On the artistic side, Kelley Jones work here as guest illustrator was nice to see and certain visual elements of his work on Batman comic books also made it here. The result is a nice change of style and a new approach of showing visual details. I should state that even though his art style is radically different from that of Rick Leonardi, Jones managed to make the established characters look recognizable to me.

Conclusion

Kelley Jones’ visuals on Spider-Man 2099 is nice to see.

Spider-Man 2099 #9 (1993) is clearly a more characterization-oriented story which is a nice change of pace and approach considering the chaotic story developments of the previous few issues. This comic book also shows that Spider-Man 2099 continues to encounter challenges in both local society and personally. The revelation of idolatry and idolaters connected to Spider-Man added a new layer of foolishness and evil to the local society (for insight, click here and here). At this stage of the monthly series, something new was clearly brewing for the futuristic webslinger and this showed that Peter David laid out his plans for the direction of the series’ narrative. Lastly, Kelley Jones’ work here really stands out.

Overall, Spider-Man 2099 #9 (1993) is 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/.

A Look Back at X-Men Adventures #11 (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, X-Men fans and comic book collectors! Today we revisit the X-Men Adventures monthly series which was the literary adaptation of the popular X-Men animated series of the 1990s.  

In this retro review, we take a look at the adaptation of the animated series’ own portrayal of the Muir Island saga from the comic books. Also there is Rogue who desired to have her genetic mutation cured, even though it means removing her super strength, flying ability and her dangerous touch.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at X-Men Adventures #11, published by Marvel Comics in 1993 with a story written by Ralph Macchio and drawn by Andrew Wildman.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Rogue emerging from the rubble of a facility on Muir Island. She remembers that just moments earlier, Pyro and Avalanche ruined the facility just as she was about to get cured by a man she knows as Dr. Adler. She leaves the place searching for those responsible for the ruined facility. She fails to noticed that she is being observed from a distance.

Elsewhere on the island, Pyro and Avalanche open a bag believing Dr. Adler is in it. To their shock, Mystique is the one who emerged and she reveals to them that she was just posing as Dr. Adler as part of her mission to lure mutants into taking the treatment not without realizing the truth that it will turn them into slaves of the one entity she serves…Apocalypse. Pyro explained that he and Avalanche hoped to hold Dr. Adler for ransom.

At a nearby cliff, Cable quietly watches using his rifle’s scope…

Quality

Cyclops and Jean Grey confront Cable!

To put things clearly, this one is pay-off to what was built up in issue #10 while also serving as the continuation of a multi-part story regarding Muir Island. In the previous issue, Rogue desired to become a normal individual which is why she went to Dr. Adler on the said island. In this comic book, the direction for Rogue took a drastic change fighting Pyro and Avalanche not knowing that Mystique is involved and secretly working to help her master Apocalypse execute his ambitious plan of gaining capable and controllable slaves from the mutant population.

The good news here is that the script is very well written and the narrative is really strong. Very notably, the superhero spectacle got clearly ramped up by several notches resulting in lots of action scenes as well as opportunities for Andrew Wildman to flex his artistic muscles making some dynamic action-packed images for readers to enjoy. Along the way, there is some suspense built-up related to the sub-plot within (note: Cable’s limited appearance here as well as the Jean Grey and Cyclops reuniting with their mentor Charles Xavier) as well as the Muir Island saga itself.

Indeed, this comic book has lots of spectacle that superhero enthusiasts will enjoy but still the Macchio-Wildman team managed to maintain the core themes of the story for readers to absorb and think about.

Conclusion

Dynamic action of Rogue taking on Pyro.

X-Men Adventures #11 (1993) is a very solid read from start to finish. Even as the narrative has lots of action scenes presented, the story still managed to maintain focus on the themes of sacrificing mutation to be normal humans, the temptations brought in by advanced scientific wonders, and the exploitation of people seeking hope and reform a lot. There are indeed moral lessons within this comic book reflect about. This is strong creative work by Macchio-Wildman that X-Men fans and newcomers should read and I can say there is more to come storywise beyond this comic book.

Overall, X-Men Adventures #11 (1993) is 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. 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/.

A Look Back at Superman #77 (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, DC Comics fans and comic book collectors! Today we revisit the post-death period of post-Crisis era Superman comic books as published in the early 1990s by DC Comics. Specifically, this is about a tale that took placed between Superman #75 (1993) and the hyped return of the American icon in Adventures of Superman #500 (1993).

What you are about to see is a mix of drama and intrigue that took place sometime after Superman’s death as envisioned by Dan Jurgens. As with other post-death comics of the time, the supporting characters connected to Superman as well as his arch enemy Lex Luthor got their fair share of the spotlight.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Superman #77, published by DC Comics in 1993 with a story written and drawn by Dan Jurgens. This is part 8 of the Funeral for a Friend storyline.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with the red-headed Lex Luthor (note: in a new physical body totally different from his previous one) in the middle of a combat session. Even though his hatred towards Superman drives him, he could not help but allow his recall of the past to distract him enough to allow one of combatants to strike him down. As Luthor recovers, the session gets interrupted when Supergirl (a clone) appears with Lois Lane beside her.

Lane shares to him a hard copy of a column that she made before it got trimmed down by the editorial team of the Daily Planet. With so much hate in him, Luthor reacts madly to the article which reveals that Superman’s dead body has been taken away by Project Cadmus. Lois tells him that they intend to cut the Man of Steel’s body for cloning.

Luthor then says he will work to get Superman back where he belongs and put Cadmus in its place for good. Moments after, as she walks away from Luthor’s building, Lois Lane expresses concern about how Martha and Jonathan Kent would react had they learned that their adopted son’s body was taken away…

Quality

Several photographs of Superman taken by Jimmy Olsen.

I am happy to say that Dan Jurgens crafted a really solid story in this comic book. Character development is easily the biggest feature here which is very notable on how Jurgens highlighted Lois Lane, Lex Luthor and Jimmy Olsen. Each of them had their own moments – Luthor’s obsession and hatred of Superman here will encourage you to revisit the early post-Crisis encounters between them; Lois Lane meanwhile struggles to move on as she misses Clark a lot (note: they were engaged to get married) while also trying to hard to find his missing body; Jimmy Olsen gets the big opportunity to play a major role on deciding the cover image for a printed media tribute of Superman while feeling really down as a result of the sudden death. Jurgens not only crafted the plot structure carefully, he also wrote down very rich dialogue all throughout and he cleverly used dreams and day dream sequences as exposition to give readers notable visions of the past. This is a very compelling read.

Conclusion

Visions of Lex Luthor’s past accompanying his modern day self shows cleverness and efficiency on the part of Dan Jurgens.

Superman #77 (1993) really is a great read thanks to Dan Jurgens delivering high-quality work. At this particular stage of DC Comics’ publishing history, Jurgens not only really knew Superman but he knew how to emphasize the supporting characters (all of which were impacted by the death in Superman #75) and what direction to take the Funeral for a Friend storyline to. If there is anything that negatively affects the impact of this comic book, it is the dishonesty and betrayal (towards the fans) that came within Adventures of Superman #500 (1993).

Overall, Superman #77 (1993) is 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. 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/.

A Look Back at Spider-Man 2099 #26 (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 will 1990s and explore the far future of 2099 within the Marvel Comics shared universe through one of the tales of Spider-Man 2099.

In my retro review of Spider-Man 2099 #25 (1994), I stated that Peter David crafted a story that connects and related well with the events of issue #1. Issue #25 had a really shocking revelation and by the time I reached the end, I was compelled to revisit issue #1. I can say that, literally, the dots between the two comic books really connected strongly.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Spider-Man 2099 #26, published in 1994 by Marvel Comics with a story written by Peter David and drawn by Joe St. Pierre.  

The cover.

Early story

The story begins inside one of the towers of Alchemax where an armored person lies down on a platform closely examined by the local staff. Tyler Stone arrives and immediately wants a report on Kasey Nash. After getting a reply from one of his personnel, he orders the removal of the armor and get her out of the facility.

Meanwhile. Spider-Man wakes up from his nightmare. He finds himself resting on an elevate tree and land surrounded by skyscrapers. He still has not recovered from learning the shocking truth that Tyler Stone – his very powerful boss at Alchemax – is his biological father. Equally disturbing to him is the fact that he never had Rapture in his system and his attempt to alter himself genetically was truly pointless and unnecessary. Miguel O’Hara then says to himself that his whole life is a lie.

As it begins to rain, Spider-Man then starts moving and swinging away…

Quality

A close call for Spider-Man 2099.

I want to make it clear that this particular story written by Peter David was clearly about developing Miguel O’Hara and exploring new depths within his personality. There is no good-versus-evil conflict here, nor were there any superhero spectacles or action scenes to find here. That being said, this comic book is not a bore at all and anyone who strongly follows Spider-Man 2099 as a serious character will have something to enjoy in terms of characterization mixed with intrigue.

As it is already clear that the tycoon Tyler Stone is the biological father of the protagonist, this particular story shows new dimensions as to where Miguel’s life could go to. In terms of characterization, you will get to see a very in-depth development of Spider-Man’s personality as well as his inner struggle with the way his life turns out. The dialogue is very well written, you will feel Miguel’s pain and you may even sympathize with him.

Considering the lack of superhero spectacle, it is great to see Peter David put strong emphasis on Spider-Man’s personality while also leaving some room for other developing sub-plots. It is intriguing to see Spider-Man having intense visual communication with a certain person whose organization empowered Kasey Nash (a lady the protagonist cares about). Speaking of relationships, you will see threads from Miguel’s past romance with a certain lady.  

When it comes to the visuals, Joe St. Pierre delivered a fresh new look while still making the established characters look recognizable. At times, the characters were drawn with a cartoony aesthetic and yet there were times that the images looked dynamic even without superhero spectacle. St. Pierre’s work here is a nice temporary change from the usual stuff of Rick Leonardi as many of his art pieces looked more detailed in comparison.

Conclusion

Something is building up…

Spider-Man 2099 #26 (1994) is clearly a worthy follow-up to the very shocking issue #25. You will see a new age of darkness and uncertainty within Mguel O’Hara’s personal life as well as his emotional struggles. The lack of superhero spectacle is not a problem at all as the characterization here is very compelling to read. This coming book even has a short story that explores Spider-Man’s connection with Tyler Stone long before the incident that took place in issue #1.

Overall, Spider-Man 2099 #26 (1994) is recommended.

+++++

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

What to watch on YouTube right now – Part 6

Have you been searching for something fun or interesting to watch on YouTube? Do you feel bored right now and you crave for something to see on the world’s most popular online video destination?

I recommend you watch the following videos below…

#1 Worship music videos of Shifting New Life Music is an anointed music team of New Life Philippines. Through my Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) series, I already reviewed their original worship songs Now I’m Alive, God of the Breakthrough, Touch From Heaven and The Coming King, and each of those songs have music videos on YouTube. There is another original worship song by New Life Music titled Shifting (composed by Nash Soliven, Camille Cuna, Daniel Grospe, Daryl Pinon, MJ Malubay) and there are these YouTube videos of it for your viewing and enlightenment.

#2 Christmas in Israel – Yes, it is true. The Christmas season is also present in Israel, the land that God designated for the Jewish people (refer to Genesis 12:1-3 and Genesis 35:10-12 in the Holy Bible). Posted below are recent videos about what the Christmas season in Haifa, Jerusalem and Nazareth look like, complete with exploration of varied places and scenes of people enjoying the season. No matter what your faith or culture is, Christmas is truly all about our Lord and Savior, Jesus. Rejoice with Lord Jesus every Christmas.

#3 The common links between Atari and Chuck E. Cheese

In my life, I never ever got to visit any branch of Chuck E. Cheese which is best known for serving meals to customers as well as providing in-door entertainment with arcade games, stage shows and more. As a kid, I got to play lots of video games in the comfort of our home with the Atari 2600 video game console. As a young adult, I learned that Chuck E. Cheese and Atari were historically linked with each other. If you are wondering how or why were they connected, you should watch the two videos below. Watch and pay close attention to the details.

#4 A look back at The Fly (1986)

In the history of cinema, The Fly movie franchise spawned a total of five films from 1958 to 1989. The most notable and most popular of those movies was the 1986 cinematic remake simply titled The Fly (directed by David Cronenberg and starring Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis). That being said, it is not surprising at all that YouTube has lots of retro movie reviews, movie trivia videos and movie reaction videos about it. Posted below are a mix of The Fly (1986) reaction videos, an explanatory retrospective video, a retro movie review and a trivia video.

#5 Videos and info about the upcoming Xbox-exclusive video game Forza Motorsport (2023)

The Xbox-exclusive simulation racing game Forza Motorsport (2023) is easily one my most anticipated video games of twenty twenty-three. I really am very eager to play the upcoming game (developed by Turn 10) on my Xbox Series X console and the last FM game I played was Forza Motorsport 6 on my Xbox One. Ever since the June 2022 Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, Team Xbox and Turn 10 only released a few videos of gameplay footage about Forza Motorsport (2023) and they have yet to release new pre-release videos or trailers about it. A lot has already been promised as to what the upcoming game will have (examples: overhauled physics, fully dynamic time of day system, track temperature changes, advanced car damage, tire and fuel management, multiple tire compounds, and real-time ray tracing). While a 2023 release has been confirmed, Team Xbox has yet to announce a final release date. Regardless, Forza Motorsport (2023) is the racing game to watch out for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Windows PC plus Xbox Game Pass (XGP). XGP subscribers will only have to download the game on launch day and play it without paying anything extra. If you are an Xbox gamer who has not yet subscribed, I encourage you to do it.

#6 Worship music video of All

Here is another worship song from Planetshakers that you must listen to, especially when you want to reach out to our Lord…the song is titled All (part of Planetshakers’ 2020 worship songs album Glory Pt. 2). I previously reviewed and analyzed the song in my Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) article back in April 2020 and I can say that All was written to lead people to Lord Jesus, God the Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit by powerful faith. Posted below is the official music video of All for your viewing and your faith in Him. By the way, Planetshakers will have its faith conferences in Australia this coming January and you can learn how to join them by clicking here.

#7 Filipino stores in Israel

If you are a fellow Filipino who is already in Israel and also struggling to find Filipino-made products as well as other goods imported from Asia. You should watch the videos below. Pay close attention to the details.

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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