What to watch on YouTube right now – Part 3

Have you been searching for something fun, enlightening 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 videos of “O Praise The Name (Anástasis)” – I love the worship song O Praise The Name (Anástasis) written by Marty Sampson, Benjamin Hastings and Dean Ussher, and published by Hillsong Music. Its lyrics were clearly written to lead people to the Lord and to encourage them to worship Him. One of these days, I will do a Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) piece of the worship song. For those who are reading this, watch the worship videos below from Hillsong Worship, Hillsong United and Bethel Music. This could also be the worship song your local church could play on Sunday worship services.

#2 The history of Secret Wars – In the history of American superhero comics, the Secret Wars (full title: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars) series of 1984-1985 remains highly significant not just because it featured a unique gathering of selected superheroes and super villains of Marvel (then led by Jim Shooter as editor-in-chief) but also because of the creative impact it left behind especially with regards to Spider-Man stories and the eventual debut of his deadliest villain – Venom. Secret Wars also marked the debut of the Beyonder, a god-like entity who would impact the Marvel Comics universe later. Apart from its enduring legacy, there were also some notable things that happened behind the scenes leading to the publishing. Watch and learn from the video below.

#3 Ashleigh Burton’s reaction videos of Schwarzenegger movies For this segment, we take a look at how Ashleigh Burton reacts to movies of the famous Arnold Schwarzenegger. She reacted to two Terminator flicks and Predator which are Schwarzenegger classic but she still has yet to do a Total Recall (1990) video. I urge you to visit her YouTube channel.

#4 Fashion versus videos – If you have not been following the videos published by SHIFT online, there are these versus-type of videos they released on their YouTube channel. Months ago, they published videos pitting popular models in key match-ups and they are posted below for your viewing pleasure.

#5 Looking back at Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park – Are you one of the many moviegoers out there who have gotten upset or tired with the way that Jurassic Park movies turned out, especially with the Jurassic World movies released since 2015? I noticed a lot of movie fans pointed to Jurassic World movies as dumb and bloated even as the filmmakers did what they could to sell dinosaurs and action sequences to entertain people. In times like these, it is refreshing to return to the original Jurassic Park movie of 1993 directed by Steven Spielberg. Watch the following movie reaction/review videos below plus a trivia video and an in-depth retrospective video.

#6 The FTX financial disaster – You heard the recent news about the major disaster of FTX that rocked the financial systems? Are you one of the many people who idolized Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF)? Did you pour your hard-earned money into the FTX cryptocurrency exchange and lost it all? Watch this video by Coldfusion to understand the details.

#7 The struggle of Starbucks Coffee in Vietnam and South Africa Previously I posted a video about Starbucks’ own struggle in Australia whose coffee market has been highly developed long before the American coffee giant entered. There are also two notable markets where Starbucks also struggled in – Vietnam and South Africa. Watch the videos below to find out why. This is not only interesting but also educational.

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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 Dazzler #1 (1981)

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, comic collectors, 1990s culture enthusiasts and fans of Marvel Comics! Previously, I reviewed Uncanny X-Men #130 which was the first appearance of Dazzler who went on to become one of the most notable new characters of Marvel Comics in the 1980s. After appearing in Uncanny X-Men #131 and Amazing Spider-Man #203, Dazzler became more prominent among all of Marvel’s superheroes as the publisher launched an all-new monthly series featuring her. There is more to that than meets the eye, however.

In his article titled “Dazzler and Me”, Danny Fingeroth wrote: Marvel decided to tray an experiment with the relatively new “direct market” – comic book shops. It was decided that Dazzler #1 would only be available in comic book shops, not at traditional newsstands.

Dazzler #1 sold over 400,000 copies.

Even the top-selling comics of the era sold perhaps 250,000 copies. So, the first issue, anyway, was a major hit.

Apart from the confirmed commercial success of the comic book, it is a wonder if it is still good to read by today’s standards. To find out, here is a look back at Dazzler #1, published in 1981 by Marvel Comics with a story written by Tom DeFalco and drawn by John Romita, Jr.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Dazzler running away from four armed men who had been following her since she left the disco. She finds herself corned at the dead end of an alley as the men approach her. While pretending to be reaching for her make-up in the bag, Dazzler grabs and activates her portable radio which plays music. With the music turned on, she uses her power to convert it all into a dazzling display of light and color which makes the men disoriented.

While swinging nearby, Spider-Man notices the display of light but before he begins his approach, Dazzler makes her move to knock two men out. Another man fires his gun and his bullet ricochets until it hits the portable radio stops the music and Dazzler’s lights altogether leaving her vulnerable once again…

Quality

This page alone establishes Dazzler as a person struggling to make ends meet.

As far as telling a Dazzler story goes, this comic book is the complete package and it’s got very solid writing! Apart from showing what happened to her after her appearances in the Uncanny X-Men and Amazing Spider-Man series, this comic book formally introduces Dazzler in her civilian identity as Alison Blaire and thanks to efficient writing, it also reveals threads of her past and how her mutant powers manifested. Not only that, readers will get to see the title character as a typical person who is struggling to make ends meet even though she does her best with entertainment as a career.

Strangely, the focus on Dazzler is relatively light in content and the result is several pages of Marvel universe-related filler which shows several other characters like Captain America, Iron Man, Storm, Wolverine and others present with little to no connection with the title character. The X-Men scene is a nice touch as it will remind readers about Dazzler’s first interaction with them.

As a teenager, Alison Blaire’s power begins to manifest during this particular event in her life.

To build-up the first challenge for Dazzler, this comic book has the Enchantress as the villainess and ironically it also had some room of character development for her. Clearly this was done not only to build up anticipation for the next issue but to make readers root for Dazzler some more. In retrospect, the Enchantress would later emerge as an important figure in 1984’s crossover storyline Secret Wars.

Conclusion

The scene involving the X-Men is a nice touch as it connects with Dazzler’s previous interaction with them.

While it is indeed a product of the early 1980s carrying influences from the 1970s New York club scene, Dazzler #1 (1981) is still fun and engaging to read. Clearly this comic book is a must-have for anyone who loves Dazzler and it should be entertaining enough for geeks who love the 1980s and the Marvel-related crossovers of the time. Very clearly, this comic book succeeded in introducing and developing Dazzler as a person (as opposed to being a super hero) and the background story established fits in nicely with the character’s first appearance in Uncanny X-Men #130. Very clearly, there is a lot more to Dazzler than her unique super power and her disco look.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Dazzler #1 (1981), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $70.

Overall, Dazzler #1 (1981) 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 Warriors of Plasm #1

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 truly amazing to see how a grand vision imagined by a veteran comic book creator gets realized into published form with the help of a creative team whose members listened very closely to him. Such a thing happened with Warriors of Plasm #1, published in 1993 by Defiant Comics with a story written by former Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Jim Shooter and drawn by David Lapham (with ink work by Michael Witherby).

Before starting this retro comic book review, let’s take a short look back at the history of Jim Shooter whose tenure as Marvel’s editor-in-chief include such epics like Secret Wars and Secret Wars II. After getting fired by Marvel in 1987, Shooter and his team of business associates tried and failed to acquire Marvel. Not settling for failure, they went on to establish Valiant Comics which made its presence felt in the superhero comic book market. After being ousted by Valiant, Shooter and some others established Defiant Comics.

That being said, here is my review of Warriors of Plasm #1.

Cover
The cover drawn by Lapham.

Early story

The story begins in the middle of a huge battle. Inside a living, organic ship (a flying creature precisely), acquisitor Lorca leads his force of invaders gradually defeating a resistance force. On the ground, a huge portion of the home city of the resistance has crumbled and Lorca’s fellow soldiers there have gained control of the war zone.

Lorca’s ship moves close to the ground to pick up high gore lord Sueraceen. As it turns out, Lorca and Sueraceen are lovers (the lady referred to him as her lust-mate) and their reunion is nothing less than sensual and expressive. As they talked, the biomass (referring to the inhabitants of the defeated city) will be incorporated genetically and organically into their world, and live again as part of their ecosystem.

After sending Sueraceen back on the ground to resume her duty of leading the troops, Lorca and his crew flew back to space to enter the Org of Plasm, an organic, fleshy space station complete with resources, inhabitants and an actual city inside.

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Admirers, followers and idolaters tried so hard to get Lorca’s attention.

Given his prominence, Lorca is highly respected, even idolized, by his fellow people.  One particular idolater even genetically reshaped his face to look like Lorca. Alone in a private chamber, Lorca is capable of cloning which is illegal. More intriguing, however, is that he has been developing a top-secret project with an intention to overwhelm the rulers of the org.

He begins his project with the holo-orb which is focused on planet Earth. As it turns out, organic beings from Lorca’s world are already present on Earth, spying on ten thousand people. Suddenly, the ten thousand got touched by the organic beings which instantly sent them back to the Org of Plasm.

Quality

Warriors of Plasm #1 is not just a high-quality comic book. It is also a great showcase of the talents of Jim Shooter, David Lapham and others molded together to form a true, sci-fi epic that remains very unique to read to this day.

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Very intriguing art and visual designs by Lapham.

When it comes to storytelling, structuring and character development, the former Marvel Comics editor-in-chief scored great points which is not surprising given his tremendous experience in comic books. With great art by Lapham, this comic book opened with literally strong arms that pulled me into an all-new, sci-fi universe that is like no other. Within the first few pages, I felt deeply immersed into discovering the universe and quickly realized Lorca’s role, what his side was doing and more. The script and arrangement of panels for the art were executed with high efficiency. Really, I never felt lost reading this comic book.

As I kept reading further, I discovered more about the culture of Lorca’s people, how they operate and traveled efficiently with organic materials and living beings that served their needs without the use of technology (no metals, no computers, no fossil fuel and no digital stuff). This comic book shows how deep and engaging Jim Shooter’s imagination really is and illustrator David Lapham lived up to the difficult task of realizing the visual concepts.

And then there is the dialogue which is really deep and engaging to read. Lorca, Sueraceen and the many other supporting characters involving the org and the surviving few from planet Earth each have unique personalities. Clearly Shooter planned each character with a purpose. What is even more intriguing in this comic book is that the line between good and evil was cleverly blurred.

The art by David Lapham, whose past credits include Magnus Robot Fighter, Harbinger and Shadowman for Valiant Comics, really outdid himself. The characters are really well defined visually but what really stood out was his work on the Plasm world and the functioning organic environment. Of the many works of the illustrator, Warriors of Plasm is his most memorable work.

Conclusion

While it is true that Defiant Comics no longer exists and Warriors of Plasm’s full potential as an entertainment franchise was never realized, this particular comic book is, in my honest opinion, still one of the best new comic books ever launched in 1993. Its epic science fiction concept opened very strongly and remained very engaging right until the very last page. I can assure you that by the time you reach the end of Warriors of Plasm #1, you will want to go out and search for the next issue.

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On the battle zone is gore lord Sueraceen leading the troops.

If you are thinking about acquiring an existing copy of Warriors of Plasm #1, please take note that as of this writing and based on the latest rates at MileHighComics.com, a near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $4, $26 for the near-mint copy of the edition with five signatures, $7 for the Jim Shooter-signed edition, and $30 for the signed-and-numbered edition.

This comic book is a 1990s classic. As such, Warriors of Plasm #1 is highly recommended!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. 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 Fantastic Four #275

Back in the mid-1980s, the Marvel Comics universe had revisions as a result of the best-selling series Secret Wars. As a result of that series, Spider-Man went home with the alien costume or symbiote (read: Venom), Colossus’ feelings for Kitty Pryde weakened and the Thing decided not to go home yet with the Fantastic Four.

This resulted a temporary change in the lineup of the Fantastic Four. To make up for the loss (and strength) of the Thing, She-Hulk came in as the replacement. Reflecting this particular change, here is my retro review of Fantastic Four #275.

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The cover.

Released in 1985 with a story written and drawn by the legendary John Byrne, Fantastic Four #275 begins when a sun-bathing She-Hulk got photographed by a man riding a helicopter flying at the top of the Baxter Building in New York. The sheer force of air from the helicopter’s blades temporarily causes She-Hulk’s cover to loosen which exposes her body to the photographer.

“Here I was all braced for a super-baddie, and I end up getting photographed deshabillee by an airborne peeping-tom,” She-Hulk said during the encounter.

The green-skinned lady then decides to take a huge risk by leaping off the building and grab on to the helicopter.

While this is indeed a Fantastic Four comic book, it is very focused on She-Hulk. There is a short scene about Johnny Storm as well as an epilogue at the end of the comic book showing Reed and Sue Richards however.

In terms of storytelling, John Byrne did not tell the usual good-versus-evil story rather he focused more on how being a superhero can be challenging when it comes to personal privacy. This was emphasized through She-Hulk who became the object of a magazine whose editor-in-chief views her as a public figure and that puts her in the public domain along with other famous public figures whose faces and even their private lives got exposed to the masses.

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From page 11.

If you are looking for superhero action, you won’t find much. There are some incidental forms of action in the form of collateral damage as She-Hulk crashes through walls.

Overall, Fantastic Four #275 is a fun read and its focus on how the print media treats superheroes viewed as public figures is a nice break from the typical good-versus-evil type of story. No clear villain here. Just the She-Hulk dealing with a magazine that violated her privacy.

Fantastic Four #275 is recommended.