A Look Back at Shogun Warriors #1 (1979)

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.

If you are fond of giant robots from Japanese pop culture as well as giant monsters and scenes of city structures getting destroyed, then you might want to take a look at the Shogun Warriors comic book series that was published by Marvel Comics from 1979 to 1980. To put things in perspective, Shogun Warriors was made possible through licensing deals and back in the 1970s, Marvel Comics had the rights to publish comic book about Japan’s famous icon Godzilla.

Specifically, Shogun Warriors involved Marvel Comics and Mattel which in turn organized a line of imported toys from Japan based on varied Japanese shows about giant robots. Among the many giant robots of the toy line, the robots Raideen, Combattler V and Dangard Ace became the featured fighting-for-good robots of the Shogun Warriors comic book series. For the literary works, Raideen was renamed as Raydeen while Combattler V was renamed as Combatra. Dangard Ace’s name was left unchanged.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Shogun Warriors #1, published in 1979 by Marvel Comics with a story written by Doug Moench and drawn by Herb Trimpe.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the outskirts of Tokyo in Japan where giant robot Raydeen fights a large, tentacled creature enhanced with cybernetics. As the people on the street below them run away from the ongoing destruction, the monster fires a shot at Raydeen who blocks it but subsequently gets tied with one of the tentacles. The giant robot, which is operated by three pilots inside, breaks free and continues to fight the monster.

As the battle rages on, the city continues to get damaged heavily affecting the people…

Quality

Technically the organization kidnapped three people to be the pilots of their robots for Earth’s defense.

Having seen a lot of anime TV series episodes about giant robots, I’m familiar already with the storytelling formula that often focuses first on the human characters and their struggles before shifting the narrative on the giant robots that often fight large monsters or opposition robots. This particular comic book has some of that but the way the story is structured, it is different and can be a bit jarring.

Doug Moench structured the story to have Raydeen and the monster fighting in the present time followed shortly by a flashback that took place just hours prior. The flashback, which occupies 9 of the comic book’s 18 pages, is heavily filled with exposition meant to introduce readers to the three pilots Genji Odashu/Ilongo Savage/Richard Carson, what Earth defense force The Followers of the Light is, and why there are giant monsters ravaging the world. The exposition’s writing felt crammed and rushed for reading although it still succeeds in establishing the comic book’s grand concept.

When it comes to spectacle, this comic book is loaded with giant robot action and it is quite varied in style and execution. The funny thing is that you will only get to see Raydeen in action as this is an introductory story with only 18 pages of story.

The dialogue is a bit of a mess here, particularly with the early Raydeen scenes. As the battle with the monster goes on, there are these lines of dialogue reflecting the conversations between the pilots inside Raydeen who are not shown talking until late in the comic book.

Conclusion

Raydeen and the giant monster in battle.

Shogun Warriors #1 (1979) has a nice concept and its Westernized take on portraying giant robots and human characters is clearly different from the way things were done in the varied giant robot anime TV series of Japan. There is clearly no Japanese style melodrama as this one has its characters portrayed straight with a touch of American science fiction. That being said, do not expect to see the Japan-made characters of Raideen, Combattler V and Dangard Ace appear here as new characters were made in their place. The comic book’s story structure is a bit jarring to follow and the heavy exposition dump makes reading a bit of a chore. It is fun to read but not great. Those of who are fans of Combatra and Dangard Ace will be disappointed about the near-total absence of those robots.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Shogun Warriors #1 (1979), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $63 while the near-mint copy of the Whitman edition costs $35.

Overall, Shogun Warriors #1 (1979) is satisfactory.

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

Majority of Metro Manila Mayors support shift to MGCQ status by March 1, 2021

President Rodrigo Duterte will have a big decision to make that will affect millions of residents and businesses in Metro Manila as a majority of the mayors voted to shift the metropolis from general community quarantine (GCQ) to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status by March 1, 2021, as based on a news release on Philippine News Agency (PNA) that got published just last night.

Here’s an excerpt from the PNA report:

The Metro Manila Council (MMC), composed of Metro Manila mayors and national government officials, has voted to support the proposed shift to the less restrictive modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in Metro Manila.

“Ang karamihan po ng alkalde ng kalakhang maynila ay bumoto na MGCQ na po ang magiging posisyon nila pagdating sa Metro Manila (Most of the mayors in Metro Manila voted for having MGCQ as their position in Metro Manila),” Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. said in a press conference on Thursday.

This, he said, will be sent to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and to President Rodrigo R. Duterte who will make the final decision on whether to implement eased quarantine restrictions by March 1.

He declined to provide the actual number of votes the proposal received but said that all Metro Manila mayors will support the decision.

Indeed, Abalos did not reveal the number of Yes and No votes but the Manila Bulletin reported that the score among Metro Manila mayors was 9-8 in favor of MGCQ.

To put things in perspective, Metro Manila still has yet to adjust to MGCQ status. Metro Manila is the hot spot of multiple cities where a lot of residents as well as business entities of varied sizes are located at. Right now, the nation needs a major boost to its economy even as there is still the need to be vigilant to avoid new COVID-19 infections. Lots of people in the metropolis remain unemployed and badly need income, and having Metro Manila shift to MGCQ status will help revive other businesses and pave the way for more people to get back to work.

It would be nice to see the Metro Manila Council research more and observe closely how other cities and provinces are doing while maintaining MGCQ statuses for months already.

On a grander scale, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) supports the recommendation to have the entire nation placed under MGCQ status by March. The said recommendation was made by Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua in recent times. Below is an excerpt from the PNA report:

“It is about time we move to MGCQ after a year of lockdown,” Lopez told reporters in a Viber message Tuesday. “Lockdown was supposed to buy us time to prepare our health system and improve contact tracing and ‘Trace-Test-Treat’.”

Since June 2020, the National Capital Region (NCR) has not graduated from GCQ status, a stricter community quarantine measure than MGCQ.

It even went back to much stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from Aug. 4 to 18 last year as health care facilities in Metro Manila were overwhelmed due to the increasing number of Covid-19 cases during that period.

“As the Philippines recovers, Metro Manila has a very weak recovery, worse in employment and hunger recovery, and that means more urban poor. The damages to malnutrition and other health and social issues will be irreversible,” Lopez said.

NCR accounted for around 40 percent of the Philippine gross domestic product (GDP).

But Lopez added the reopening of more economic activities should depend on the Covid-19 statistics.

As pointed out by Trade secretary Lopez, Metro Manila is lagging behind in terms of recovery from the pandemic. Apart from joblessness and lack of income, poverty in the National Capital Region is an important problem to solve. The more people fall under poverty, the more local government units (LGUs) need to exert and spend their limited resources to support them.

Right now, the Metro Manila Council’s approval of shifting to MGCQ status will soon be dealt with by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and President Duterte.

In ending this, here are some videos about combatting the China virus.

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For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

A chance for recovery for more Philippine cinemas (and their employees)

Wow. That was quite a ride of information updates that happened the last few days. Last Friday, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) announced that it has allowed a variety of businesses around the Philippines to resume operations so that they can recover from this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Such businesses specified were driving schools, video arcades, theme parks, natural sites, historical landmarks, parks and, most notably of all, cinemas (or movie theaters).

However, the Metro Manila mayors reacted and expressed their opposition against the national government’s decision on allowing cinemas to reopen. Through the media, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos stated that a “majority of Metro Manila mayors agreed not to open as far as cinema is concerned.”

Below is an excerpt from the Manila Times article on Abalos…

He noted that movie theaters are enclosed and air-conditioned spaces where people stay for more than 30 minutes, conditions that increase the risk of coronavirus transmission.

To put things in perspective, Metro Manila is composed of many major Philippine cities such as Makati, Quezon City, Manila and Muntinlupa to name a few. Until now, Metro Manila remains under GCQ (General Community Quarantine) status while certain other cities or provinces have been enduring the MGCQ (Modified General Community Quarantine) status. As of this writing, the only cinemas operating here in the Philippines are those located in MGCQ areas.

Here in Metro Manila, movie theaters have been closed since March 2020. Take note of that.

As a result of the Metro Manila mayors’ opposition, it has been announced that the reopening of cinemas has been moved to March 1, 2021, but that is not guaranteed. According to the news release published yesterday at Philippine News Agency, the reopening of cinemas in GCQ areas has been moved to the first of March to allow consultations with local officials, and this is the result of talks with MMDA’s Abalos, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia and Trade Secretary Lopez.

Malacañang stated in the release: The IATF respects the position of mayors, especially those in Metro Manila. That’s why the resolution stated that the reopening of cinemas will be effective after drafting guidelines with local governments particularly when it comes to seating capacity in cinemas.

As you can see, there is still some work needed to be done before Metro Manila movie theaters (or any theaters in GCQ areas in general) can be allowed to reopen. This is why, in my view, the March 1 target for reopening could be missed.

More on the cinemas, I wonder if the Metro Manila mayors and their advisers did enough research about the economics. I understand they want to avoid the risk of people getting infected with COVID-19 within their respective cities, but there is still the need for economic recovery even if cinemas are to operate at less than 100% capacity and efficiency

From an economic point of view, thanks to information released by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, the so-called traditional cinema industry of the nation employed 300,000 workers and had generated revenues of P13 billion BEFORE the pandemic started last year. Because of the pandemic, 2020 theater revenues shrunk down to only P1.3 billion.

Whatever happened to them as a result of the pandemic, 300,000 cinema employees is a figure that should not be ignored nor dismissed so quickly by the mayors and their advisers. Economic recovery is a must.

In an ABS-CBN news report, the cinema operators and movie producers have decided to adopt a so-called wait-and-see approach on the reopening of cinemas in GCQ areas.

Here’s an excerpt from the report:

Although they welcome the easing of quarantine restrictions, local producers and theater operators believe that ultimately, the reopening of cinemas will still be dependent on the clearance of local government units.

Roselle Monteverde and Vincent del Rosario, who helm Regal and Viva Entertainment, respectively, told ABS-CBN News that they have the capability to provide cinemas with movie material, some of which have long been canned. Nonetheless, along with other members of the local producers association, the movie magnates are still awaiting the IATF guidelines and, more important, the guidance of mayors.

And here’s another excerpt, this time about two major cinema chain operators.

Megaworld Cinemas and SM Cinemas, which both control a vast chain of theater chains, told ABS-CBN News that they will wait for the final guidelines of the IATF and local government units.

Bomboy Lim of Robinson Cinemas also told ABS-CBN News that the bottomline is securing the approval of local government units. “Priority din namin ang ligtas na panonood ng tao. Kailangan nating sundin ang lahat ng guidelines including the IATF. Right now, they are still making it.”

Robinson Cinemas, which has an estimated 200 theaters nationwide in its malls nationwide, have not reopened since March 2020.

Over at the City of Manila, the local authorities there announced it will offer free swab tests to movie theater workers within their jurisdiction. Mayor Isko Moreno said that the swab tests are required before the city government allows malls to open their movie houses. Cinema workers specified are janitors, security guards, tellers, ushers, porters, ticket sellers and snack bar attendants to name some. Managers of malls in the city were asked by the mayor to present to the city government their respective preparations for the reopening of their cinemas with public safety in mind.

As I personally observed in shopping malls with cinemas here in South Metro Manila, each of them has established rules and set up special equipment to monitor the health statuses of people entering their respective places. I can imagine local cinemas inside these malls having similar equipment, disinfectant machines, and temperature scanners. It would be helpful if the malls or cinema operators can afford to set up sanitation tunnels (like those in Israel) for moviegoers to pass thru when entering and exiting the movie theater. Watch the video below…

Even though things look unclear, the fact remains is that operators of movie theaters and their employees now have a chance to resume their business and do their part in the recovery economically and socially. How the IATF and the Metro Manila mayors will decide the fate of the cinemas remains to be seen.

If there are any major updates, you will be notified right here at www.CarloCarrasco.com

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For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Muntinlupa City named 5th Most Competitive City among Highly Urbanized Cities as per CMCI 2020 rankings

Muntinlupa City now ranks 5th among Highly Urbanized Cities in the Philippines, three notches higher than its previous ranking, based on the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) 2020 Rankings released during the 8th Regional Competitiveness Virtual Summit this past December 16.

CMCI is an annual ranking of Philippine cities and municipalities developed by the Department of Trade and Industry and National Competitiveness Council with the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development.

Muntinlupa was adjudged Top 5 Most Competitive City among HUC’s in the country following the cities of Makati (Top 4), Pasay (Top 3), Davao (Top 2), and Manila (Top 1). The city previously ranked 8th in the 2019 Overall Competitiveness Index and 10th place in 2018. Local government units in the country were ranked on four convergent pillars namely Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency, Infrastructure, and Resilience.

The National Competitiveness Council has named Muntinlupa City as Rank 1 in the Resilience Pillar – HUC category this year besting at least 145 cities in the country. Finalists in the category include Valenzuela City (Rank 2) and Manila City (Rank 3).

The city has also moved one step higher from the previous year in Government Efficiency and Infrastructure pillars both from Rank 7 to Rank 6.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi attributed the recognition to the local government’s thrust in streamlining disaster resilience in development planning and improving the local government’s processes and transaction procedures. The local exec thanked the NCC for the award and said that it will serve as an inspiration to bring better services in the city.

“Being in the Top 5 of Overall Competitive Cities is a testament that the City Government is in the right track in fostering good governance and providing more effective programs for Muntinlupeños,” Fresnedi said.

The National Competitiveness Council was organized through Executive Order No. 44 which aims to promote a more competitive Philippines and instill a culture of excellence, through public-private sector collaboration as means to reduce poverty through inclusive growth.

Cities and municipalities are ranked on their competitiveness based on an overall competitiveness score. Scores are determined by the values of the actual data, as well as the completeness of the submitted data submitted by local government units.

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The above information and images were provided by the City Government of Muntinlupa for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts were edited for this website.

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Soft Opening of Skyway Stage 3 this December, Northbound Extension on track for Year-end Completion

Hey fellow South Metro Manila residents and motorists! Do you plan to go to other parts of Metro Manila and further north soon?

Be confident because Skyway Stage 3 (AKA Skyway 3) is set for a soft opening this December and as of this writing the northbound section of the Skyway Extension project is at 70% completed and it should reach 100% by the end of this year. This is not to be confused with Skyway Stage 3’s completion which was in reference to the linking of the northern and southern parts of Luzon. Right now, the people behind the project are working to finish the northbound section for the soft opening. The exact December date for the soft opening still has yet to be revealed.

A portion of the northbound extension of the Skyway within Muntinlupa City. (source – Ramon S. Ang Facebook page)

“We are on track to deliver the northbound section of the Skyway Extension project by December, and with this, motorists from the south can easily access Makati, Manila, San Juan, Quezon City, and the North Luzon Expressway,” said San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president and chief executive officer (CEO) Ramon S. Ang in a press statement.

To put things in perspective, SMC fully funded the project with P10 billion and it is designed to extend the Skyway from Susana Heights on the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) to Sucat and back, and provide direct access to the elevated section of the Skyway. The South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and the Muntinlupa Cavite Expressway (MCX) will get connected to the Skyway at Susana Heights which will bypass Alabang and should result seamless and shorter travel from south to north via the Skyway system.

“Under normal Metro Manila conditions, you will be lucky if you can get from SLEX to the North Luzon Expressway in under three hours. You would have to pass through traffic gridlocks in Alabang, Magallanes, practically the whole of EDSA, or various areas through Manila. With the Skyway Extension and the completed Skyway 3, you can get there in 30 minutes without stopping,” Ang further elaborated.

In addition, motorists coming from the provinces of Cavite, Laguna and Batangas will be able to bypass Alabang which should also ease traffic in Muntinlupa as well as along Alabang-Zapote road.

At this point of time, things are really looking very good as far as Luzon highways and Metro Manila travel are concerned. Being able to travel from Alabang to north of Metro Manila and back with much faster speed and much less stress is something I have always dreamed of. That old dream will soon be realized! Keep an eye on the Skyway and the completion of the extension.

In ending this article, watch and enjoy this very recent Skyway update video.

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For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the FB group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

A Look Back at Bloodshot #7 (1993)

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

It’s been quite some time since I last reviewed a Valiant comic book. Previously, I reviewed Bloodshot #6 (1993) which not only had the first appearance of Colin King (AKA Ninjak) but also had some of the spotlight on my native Philippines as a destination. To be specific, back in the 1990s, it was rare for the Philippines to get mentioned or visualized in American superhero comic books.

Anyway, we can return to the 1990s universe of Valiant Comics following the misadventure of Bloodshot in this look back at Bloodshot #7, published in 1993 by Valiant Comics with a story by Kevin VanHook and art by Don Perlin.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins 1,500 feet in the air above the Philippines with Leigh falling down followed by Bloodshot with the airplane leaving them. After some struggle, Bloodshot manages to grab her boot which turned out helpful as Leigh had been controlling her fall by gliding on the air currents. After breaking the fall, the boot of Leigh slips off separating the them. Bloodshot falls on the jungle’s foliage while the other landed safely.

Over at the Manila International Airport, the secret assassin Marco is weak and was assisted by a certain guy and placed on one of the toilets in the restroom. After being left there alone, Marco wakes up and leaves the restroom to make a telephone call. He does not realize that the same man who assisted him is trailing him.

Back in the jungle, Bloodshot gradually adjusts himself to get moving just as his nanites are healing his fractured right leg and broken rib. With no time to lose, he decides to continue his mission even though he is still injured….

Quality

Bloodshot and Ninjak in the jungle in the Philippines.

I can say that this comic book has a stronger story and better spectacle. It is indeed a solid payoff to the build-up in issue #6. Kevin VanHook took his time in pacing the story allowing readers to follow the details behind the events while giving ample spotlight to other characters. Bloodshot is still in the center of the story only this time he’s a lot more vulnerable and less capable as an action hero. As seen in the cover of this comic book, he truly is vulnerable and therefore he is presented more as a survivor striving hard to complete his detective work no matter the costs.

This is not a straightforward action tale. There is still a good amount of intrigue and espionage that happens in the Philippines (as Valiant’s creators imagined it). It should be noted that this comic book marks the first-ever appearance of Ninjak in his costumed form (note: Ninjak appeared in Bloodshot #6 in his civilian form as Colin King) as well as the first-ever personal encounter between Ninjak and Bloodshot (which was written to be believable). Artist Don Perlin cleverly crafted the way Ninjak performs action and evasive maneuvers setting the basic standards that other artists would do later in further comic book featuring the character (who eventually got his own monthly series in 1994).

Conclusion

At the Manila International Airport…

Bloodshot #7 (1993) is a great comic book to read and it also happens to be one of the more memorable character debuts Valiant Comics ever published in the 1990s. The debut of Ninjak in his costume alone makes this one a must-have and it so happens that the story and art were both of very good quality. The gritty realism applied to the tone of the presentation makes the story believable and there never was a moment when the events felt outlandish.

Going back to Ninjak, the character went on to become one of Valiant’s most original and major superheroes of all. In 1994, the Ninjak monthly series launched big time with an issue #1 that had a chromium cover and the great Joe Quesada drew the cover and interior art. In 2015, Valiant Entertainment launched another Ninjak series.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Bloodshot #7 (1993), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $40.

Overall, Bloodshot #7 (1993) is highly recommended.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. 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 Bloodshot #6 (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.

When I was still collecting comics back in 1993, I was more focused on the X-Men 30th anniversary celebration and the expansion of the Marvel 2099 universe organized by Marvel Comics, and the launch of the Ultraverse by Malibu Comics.

Along the way, I heard some buzz about Valiant Comics and Defiant Comics. That same year, Valiant Comics generated a lot of buzz among comic book collectors with the launch of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #1 and the release of Bloodshot #6. Why Bloodshot #6? It’s because of the literary debut of a character who went on to become an one of Valiant’s icons.

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The cover.

Here’s a nice look back at Bloodshot #6 published in 1993 by Valiant Comics with a story by Kevn VanHook drawn by Don Perlin.

Early story

The story begins inside a commercial airplane flying over Sydney, Australia. There is a guy wearing reddish business attire socializing with a lady while standing. A lady in red approached him telling him that he should take his seat as they are in the glide path. The guy in red attire approaches a seat man wearing green business attire, asking him if the vacant seat near him was taken.

The seated man tells him to get away. The guy in red places his right hand on him causing a fire during the flight. What happened turned out to be an assassination. The guy and lady in red rush to the nearest emergency exit and it turned out their names are Marco and Leigh. They jump off the plane which explodes several feet away from them. Marco and Leigh left in the air not worried about falling down.

Meanwhile at the airport in London, Bloodshot arrives and is greeted by his pal Malcolm. They arrive back at their residence in London’s east end. Bloodshot has something to do. Over at France, Alicia Guerrero meets with Montblanc at his office and they discuss the courier assignments that involve acquiring a set of components and the three (of four) intercontinental flights that ended in tragedy.

Quality

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Bloodshot shortly after arriving from the airport.

As far as storytelling goes, this comic book sure has a lot of intrigue and espionage leaving the title character Bloodshot with much less spotlight (in terms of narrative, not page appearance). It’s not a problem for me as a reader because the writer Kevin VanHook really took his time to emphasize what has been going on, what’s within the web of international secret operations (that involved killing and explosions) and what’s at stake. Of course, the deepening of the plot makes way for Bloodshot to get involved in a less action-oriented but more intelligent way. That being said, action scenes are subdued for the sake of storytelling. Along the way, illustrator Don Perlin did a good job visualizing the deep plot. Perlin also tried his best making the mission briefing of Bloodshot (which even for its time was cliched) look interesting.

Fans of Bloodshot who love action scenes of shooting and striking, as well as displays of his special abilities, won’t find much of such stuff here.

Conclusion

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Tragedy high up in the sky.

To make things clear to those who are wondering, Bloodshot #6 is significant for fans of Valiant Comics as it marked the first appearance of Colin King who is actually the iconic Ninjak. That fact, however, does not really define the overall quality of this comic book and Colin King’s literary debut is very brief. That way I look at Bloodshot #6, it’s a good comic book laced with a good amount of intrigue and espionage.

For those who are based in the Philippines, Bloodshot #6 is one of the rare American comic books of the 1990s that mentions the Philippines (with Manila as a flight destination) and even showed a few images of it as a location.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Bloodshot #6 of 1993, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that a near-mint copy costs $28.

Overall, Bloodshot #6 is recommended for those looking for gripping, espionage storytelling with the title character. As a collector’s item, the comic book is a must-have for as long as Ninjak and Bloodshot remain popular.


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

A Look Back at Aerobiz Supersonic

When it comes to playing economic simulation games, I enjoy playing them on the personal computer (PC) using the keyboard and mouse. Back in the mid-1990s, there was one particular economic simulation that I played on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Super NES or SNES) and found it to be very enjoyable and easily to play with using the console’s control pad.

That game was Aerobiz Supersonic, a simulation about the airline industry developed and published by Koei for both the Super NES and the Sega Genesis. Here is my look back at this old video game from the 1990s.

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The cover of the Super NES version of the game. Its art and style is really nice to look at.

Concept and Game Design

In the game, you get to play the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of an airline and your goal is to beat your rivals in the global air travel industry. How to achieve the goal and succeed? There are tasks that need to be accomplished such as buying commercial airplanes (that include such real-life companies like Boeing and Airbus) for use, establishing flight routes, securing slots in airports worldwide, selling tickets and filling up each flight with as many passengers as possible, achieve profitability and finish the game’s imposed time period ranking #1. Adding zest to the game’s challenge is the selection of a certain era of world history that include 1955-1970 (the dawn of jets), 1970-1990 (the Cold War era), 1985-2005 (the present era) and 2000-2020 (the age of continued flight advancement).

Within the game, time passes by means of clicking a certain on-screen button that ends the player’s current turn. Of course, before pressing that, the player has to set things in motion like sending a representative to a certain overseas airport to negotiate and secure slots (which takes months to complete), set the ticket prices, buy a new airplane or two, etc. The game even allows players to micro-manage their airline like adjusting internal spending (salaries) or adjusting the quality of their airplane and services. Also nice is the option offered for players to buy a hotel or resort, a theme park or a travel agency that can bring in additional revenue.

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The airport slots, local businesses, economic and tourism details per city displayed.

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Visit an airline and choose from one of many models of airplanes to buy.

There are other small details that need paying attention to such as the economy and tourism meters of each city displayed (note: a higher tourism score means the city is more attractive to travelers), the population, etc. Also noteworthy is the current state of relations between your home nation with the nation of the city airport you are trying to establish routes with which can affect your business.

When the turn ends, a series of events will happen showing what happened around the world, how your company fared in the competition during the lapsed time period, and, occasionally, a random event will occur that most likely will affect your business (examples: the Olympics hosted by a city helps draw in additional passengers or the 1970s oil crisis raises the cost of your operation).

Regarding the game’s imposed time period for competing with the artificial intelligence (AI) opponents, the period is twenty in-game years.

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This is part of micro-managing your business in the game.

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After the end of each turn, news and updates not only about your company but also your competitors are flashed.

Quality

Being used to playing simulation games on PC, I found Aerobiz Supersonic to be very enjoyable, addicting and easy and efficient to play (in terms of controls). Considering the above-mentioned gameplay options (buying an airline, sending a representative, etc.), they are pretty easy to adjust using the Super NES controller although there were a few moments when I accidentally pressed the button putting into motion a different option.

Gameplay aside, this game has a whole lot of charm with its visual presentation. You launch a brand new flight route, the game shows a short animation sequence of the jet taking off. You buy an airplane, you will see a short animation of it entering your facility once it arrives (complete with a visual design reflecting the model). You conduct a board meeting, your company’s officials are present making reports to you and you get a series of choices to make on what to do next. A historical event or a global development occurs, you get to see original art reflecting them (example: a nation joins the EU with people wearing suits and neckties together in a formal ceremony). You make a move to buy slots at an airport overseas, a company official will have his or her face shown talking to you. When looking at the regional map, you see lines connected between cities (highlighting the establish flight route you made) and there are icons of airplanes flying between them.

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Random tourist hot spots get highlighted as you keep playing.

More on the aspect of starting the game, I like the options offered for me to select which city shall serve as my airline headquarters. Among the many cities included, there are cities of my native Philippines namely Manila (the international destination) and the nearby city of Cebu. I still remember how delighted I was to see my native Philippines included in the game, complete with Asian character designs to reflect the company and its region.

Conclusion

Ultimately Aerobiz Supersonic (which was actually a sequel to Aerobiz) is a gem of a console economic simulation released at a time when 2D sprite gaming was still the standard and 3D polygonal gaming was just about to make an impact on the global video game console market. Back then, 2D side-scrolling action/adventure games, sports games and role-playing games (RPGs) were so common on the Super NES and Genesis combined and the idea of enjoying economic simulations on consoles was highly unusual. Aerobiz Supersonic is proof that economic simulations can come with a lot of depth, deliver a good amount of strategy and can be highly playable and enjoyable on consoles.

If you want to enjoy this game, it can be quite difficult to do because you need to acquire an existing copy of the game as well as a fully functioning Super NES or Sega Genesis. As of this writing, there has never been a re-release of Aerobiz Supersonic (note: in line with legitimacy, I will not consider those browser versions or file sharing of ROMs) and it is not even included on Nintendo’s Virtual Console. There’s not even a version made for smartphones.

Now if only the executives at Koei Tecmo Games would consider revisiting Aerobiz Supersonic with today’s consumers in mind.

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You can choose what kind of plane, how many planes, how many flights and how much you set the ticket prices whenever you start a new flight route.


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

 

35,000+ expected to sign up for SEA Games this year

As the anticipation for the 30th Southeast Asian Games (30th SEA Games) grows, the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) announced on September 18 that they expected more than 35,000 people to sign up for the biennial sports meet which will open on November 30 and last until December 11.

Logo

According to Alona Quintos (director for accreditation and uniforms), the PHISGOC has received close to eleven thousand applications for accreditation from athlete and officials of the eleven nations participating in the big event.

Already 9,552 have been screened while more than eight thousand personnel have been granted access to the SEA Games. The organizers have been paying close attention to security to make sure that each and every person who got accredited is cleared. Quintos added that pre-valid accreditation cards or PVACs of the eleven national Olympic committees will start printing on September 30.

With regards to media, close to 1,500 personnel composed of journalists, photojournalists, videographers and broadcasters have applied to cover the 30th SEA Games.

So far, the preparation for the SEA Games here in the Philippines is looking good. In fact there were technical delegates from various sports who lauded the local organizers for the preparation and the venues. For one thing, Valson Cuddikotta (technical delegate for athletics) cited the track-and-field stadium in New Clark City as a world-class facility and noted PHISGOC’s efforts to come up with such fantastic venues. Cuddikotta believes the Philippines can conduct any event of the highest magnitude.

Historically speaking, the Philippines hosted the SEA Games in 1981, 1991 and 2005. The very first SEA Games were held in Thailand way back in 1959.

Tickets to the Games

For those who want to watch the SEA Games in person here in the Philippines, the organizers have teamed up with SM Tickets and tickets are being sold at www.SMtickets.com

For SEA Games venue references, click here.

For the official Facebook page of the 30th SEA Games, click here.

Muntinlupa City Seen To Benefit From DTI-BOI Investment Promotion

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The local government of Muntinlupa entered a partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry – Board of Investments in boosting Muntinlupa City as an investment destination. DTI Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo signed a memorandum of agreement with Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi for the investment promotion endeavor at Muntinlupa City Hall, Putatan last April 16. Also witnessing the signing ceremony were DTI-BOI Investments Assistance Service Director Atty. Bobby Fondevilla, Muntinlupa City Administrator Engr. Allan Cachuela, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Muntinlupa President Elvie Sanchez-Quiazon, and other local officials. (from Muntinlupa PIO press release)

The City Government of Muntinlupa continues to move forward and gain recognition for governance, cooperation and a continued business-friendly approach. For those who are unaware, Muntinlupa was named as the Most Business-Friendly City in 2017 and 2018 and judging from the other kinds of awards it won these past years it proved to be a highly competitive city nationwide.

Very recently I received a press release from the Muntinlupa Public Information Office (Muntinlupa PIO) in which the City Government (led by incumbent Mayor Jaime Fresnedi) announced that it has sealed a partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry – Board of Investments (DTI-BOI).

What’s the partnership about? Specifically the DTI-BOI will promote the city as an investment destination. Already DTI Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi for the investment promotion endeavor at Muntinlupa City Hall on April 16.

What does this mean? It means the DTI-BOI will assist in boosting Muntinlupa City as an investment destination by providing relevant information on available incentives to potential local and foreign investors.

The investment board shall also provide assistance in the implementation of policies geared towards improvement of processes in starting a business. BOI aims to create an environment conducive to the expansion of existing investments or attracting prospective investments in the city. Further, the board will also conduct a mentoring program for the City Government’s frontline personnel.

During the MOA signing ceremony, Usec. Rodolfo lauded local initiatives and ease of doing business in Muntinlupa City. The BOI exec recognized some innovations facilitated by the City Government and its assistance in Micro, Small, Medium, and Large Enterprises and locators in Muntinlupa.  He also stated that Muntinlupa City is a business destination for high-value investments.

The mayor expressed his thanks to BOI for its assistance and said that the partnership will ripple to significant employment opportunities and the continuous development of local economy.

The way it is right now, Muntinlupa has arguably the most modern business and commercial zones in South Metro Manila. Already many companies have set up offices or corporate headquarters in Filinvest City, Madrigal Business Park, and Northgate Cyberzone in the Alabang area. When it comes to travel, the local connection to the Metro Manila Skyway is a big boost to the city as it allowed countless motorists to travel faster to and from Makati, Manila, Pasay City and the airports.

Things continue to look bright for Muntinlupa.


Thank you for reading. If you find this news 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