A Look Back at RoboCop versus The Terminator #2 (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.

Previously, I found RoboCop versus The Terminator #1 an underwhelming crossover comic book. This was due to the way the story was structured and it had a protagonist who was not interesting to follow. It does not help that RoboCop himself did not appear much in the story while the Terminators were nothing more than window dressing.

Now that the exposition and build-up has been done in the first comic book, we can find out if RoboCop and the Terminator will finally become more prominent in this look back at RoboCop versus The Terminator #2, published in 1992 by Dark Horse Comics with a story written by Frank Miller and drawn by Walt Simonson.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the dark future. A young boy finds himself in the middle of a war zone surrounded by explosions and blasts. With a broken leg, he crawls up the steps of a ruined place only to find himself facing a T-800 Terminator which kills him. The Terminator, acting like a human, raises the boy’s dead body to other Terminators which raised and clenched their firsts to acknowledge victory.

The story then moves back to 20th century Detroit, Michigan. An ED-209 operating for the city hospital fires at a dog until it got stopped by police officers. RoboCop arrives and enters the hospital with his gun catching everyone’s attention. He enters the room where the young lady from the far future is resting. Knowing that RoboCop is responsible for Skynet and the eventual war between man and machines, she remains hostile towards him.

In response to RoboCop’s inquiry about the weapon used during the shooting incident (that happened at the end of issue #1), the lady responds saying, “You really don’t get it. Do you, monster? Well, you will get it when they plug you into Skynet in a copy of years—when your mind makes the Terminators possible—when you mind starts a war that wipes us out, maybe then you’ll get it!”

Even though he is mostly machine and has been computerized RoboCop (Alex Murphy) was compelled to deeply analyze what the lady from the future said. He decides to investigate…

Quality

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Hard-hitting action between the two pop culture icons is plentiful and satisfying!

With regards to presentation, I should say that the creative team bounced back big time here delivering lots of fun stuff about RoboCop and the Terminator. The plot, for the most part, is well written and there was a lot of room to have Detroit’s cyborg cop go into conflict with more than one Terminator finally paying-off the build-up that dominated the first issue. There were even a few scenes of dark humor spotted here and there. When it comes to fusing the respective creative elements of the RoboCop and Terminator intellectual properties, this was nicely pulled off. Even ED-209, a rival of RoboCop’s in the movies, got involved in battling a T-800. When it comes to the art, Walt Simonson’s work here is satisfactory at best. He does a decent job visualizing the hard action between RoboCop and the T-800 but there is that cartoony aesthetic of Simon’s that I found to be out of place within this crossover.

Conclusion

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Three Terminator units in different sizes.

I’m happy to say that fans of both RoboCop and the Terminator will have a lot of good stuff to enjoy in RoboCop versus The Terminator #2. The build-up and heavy exposition in the first issue paid off nicely in this comic book. Those who got annoyed with the lady from the future will be relieved that her spotlight in this issue was heavily reduced. As expected, the fight between RoboCop and the T-800 is brutal and plentiful although the impact could have been stronger had someone else illustrated this comic book. By the end of the story, I was very satisfied and ended up looking forward to the next issue.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of RoboCop versus The Terminator #2 (1992), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy costs $6.

Overall, RoboCop versus The Terminator #2 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 RoboCop versus The Terminator #1 (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.

Back in the early 1990s, I was already a fan of the Terminator and RoboCop mainly due to their respective first movies released in the 1980s which became cinematic classics. While RoboCop 2 never came close to the quality of the 1987 original movie, Terminator 2: Judgment Day literally rocked the cinemas and went on to become one of the greatest film sequels ever made. Back then, there was a lot to be excited for over the two entertainment franchises.  One day during my high school days (note: there was no social media and Internet access in the Philippines was not yet established), I learned from reading a comic book industry magazine that a crossover comic book mini-series matching the Terminator and RoboCop together. That news excited me a lot and before the end of 1992, I bought myself a copy of the comic book RoboCop versus The Terminator #1 (note: this one has gone out of print).

With the history explained, let’s all take a look back at RoboCop versus The Terminator #1, published in 1992 by Dark Horse Comics with a story by Frank Miller (note: the same successful comic book creator who actually worked on RoboCop movies in Hollywood) and art by Walt Simonson.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the far future wherein human society has been ruined and the world became a constant battleground of a war between powerful machines and desperate humans. Inside a facility being invaded by the machines, a lady working for the rebels has been using computers (via brainfeed) in the battle with Skynet. As far as she knows, leader John Connor has been right in telling her that it was a human mind that merged with software and got linked with Skynet. She points to the 20th century historical figure Alex Murphy/RoboCop as the one responsible for the war.

Before Skynet’s machines reach her, she strips naked and made a desperate trip back through time. She successfully makes a hard landing into the middle of a city in a time before the war. After struggling with the sudden change, she arms herself and sets off to kill Alex Murphy…

Quality

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Something is off with the pacing of the action here.

Let me start that this particular mini-series has a very intriguing concept that made it stand on its own (as opposed to simply referencing core concepts of the movies). This is about RoboCop’s technology being used to establish Skynet and this launch comic book emphasized that nicely.

When it comes to storytelling done with this particular comic book, things felt very uneven. For a comic book that strongly focused on the Terminator and RoboCop, this was mainly the story of the rebel lady from the future whose mission was to eliminate officer Alex Murphy in a bid to change the future. While she is portrayed to be highly determined and works by action, the character is never interesting and not worth investing your attention to.

For his part, RoboCop was literally placed on the backseat in this story and he makes his first appearance in the 2nd half starting with crime-busting. Considering the lack of spotlight, the sci-fi icon himself is not even interesting to follow which is disappointing.

The clear representation of evil here is Skynet and its army of Terminators. To say the least, the machines here make a worthy menace to read and somewhat made up for RoboCop and the lady rebel being uncompelling characters.

When it comes to the art, I should say that Walt Simonson’s visuals are not great to look at. There were crooks that had a cartoony aesthetic on the faces, Terminators that don’t even come close to their cinematic designs and some images looked rushed. At least Simonson’s RoboCop looks recognizable and was satisfactory with the action.

Conclusion

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The target: Alex Murphy/RoboCop.

I still remember how underwhelmed I got after completing RoboCop versus The Terminator #1 the first time way back in 1992. It’s even more underwhelming by today’s standards. Of course, the comic book was essentially a build-up issue with the pay-off supposed to happen in the remaining issues. Its best selling point is the fusion of RoboCop and Terminator concepts that helped establish its own universe.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of RoboCop versus The Terminator #1 (1992), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $17 while the near-mint copy of the platinum edition costs $170.

Overall, RoboCop versus The Terminator #1 (1992) is satisfactory. That being said, I would not recommend paying a lot of money for this comic book. Find a near-mint copy priced below $10.


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

My Observations: The Official Specs of Xbox Series X

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The components of Xbox Series X. (photo source – Xbox.com)

Very recently Microsoft and some members of the gaming press revealed the official specs of the next-generation console Xbox Series X. As a long-time gamer, this newest development is nice and exciting even though I am still enjoying my basic Xbox One console a lot for my video gaming and movie viewing (note: I’m a Blu-ray movie collector). The current generation console I bought way back in 2015 still works well and so far showed no signs of breaking down or slowing down (when compared to my previous console the Xbox 360). Even so, I intend to acquire the Xbox Series X to replace my Xbox One although not necessarily during the new system’s launch. Here is hoping that Microsoft will announce a launch price of not more than $499.

So let’s get on with the specs of the next-generation Xbox starting with the CPU (central processing unit) and the GPU (graphics processing unit).

CPU: 8x Cores @ 3.8 Ghz (3.6 GHZ w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU

GPU: 12 teraflops, 52 CUs (compute units) @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU

Die Size: 360.45 mm2

Process: 7nm Enhanced

Memory: 16 Gigabytes GDDR6 w/ 320b bus

Memory Bandwidth: 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s

Internal Storage: 1 terabyte NVME SSD (solid state drive)

I/O Throughput: 2.4 GB/s (raw), 4.8 GB/s (compressed with custom hardware decompression block)

Expandable Storage: 1 terabyte Expansion Card (matches internal storage exactly)

External Storage: USB 3.2 External HDD Support

Optical Drive: 4K Ultra High Definition Blu-ray Drive

Performance Target: 4K @ 60 frames-per-second, up to 120 FPS.

On face value, those specs are very impressive and worthy of being referred to as next-generation at least in terms of potential. The Xbox Series X, with those specs, unsurprisingly surpassed my Xbox One and even the Xbox One X (released in 2017) which is currently the most powerful game console in the world. With a performance target of 4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160) with a frame rate of 60 frames-per-second and even up to 120 FPS, now is a great time to upgrade your HDTV by means of replacing it with an UHDTV (or 4K TV).

Apart from improved speed and efficiency, the Xbox Series X will come with Xbox Velocity Architecture (XVA) which features the tight integration between hardware and software. It’s a new architecture optimized for streaming of in-game assets and should be useful for game developers who in turn will have instant access to an estimated 100 gigabytes of the said assets.

“It’s about revolutionizing how games can create vastly bigger and more compelling worlds,” Technical Fellow on Xbox Series X Andrew Goossen described XVA.

When it comes to video games with those large in-game environments, nothing can be more annoying than load times, delayed textures and noticeable drop of frame rates. In my experience playing Mass Effect on my Xbox 360 way back in 2007, the game’s long load time (with the overly long elevator ride designed to conceal the loading) was so bad it took me out of the game. And then there were newly loaded segments in which the polygons lacked the proper textures for the first seconds. Open-world games I played before such as Saints Row: The Third, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2 each had their own bouts of annoying load times or delayed loading of key visual elements. If the XVA delivers the promised benefits for both the game developers and the gamers, then such technical hiccups should be a thing of the past and the immersion should be much better for players. More on load times, they should not be a problem anymore in the next-generation now that the Xbox Series X will have SSDs.

Check out these official Xbox Series X videos about quick loading and quick resume.

As far as my Xbox history is concerned, I am a multi-generational Xbox LIVE user and my account has lots of Xbox 360 and Xbox One titles recorded with regards to playing history and achievements made. I also enjoy the backward compatibility feature Microsoft launched in 2015 which makes playing my old Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One possible without having to pay anything extra. I also love the fact that Xbox LIVE allows me to select and buy Xbox 360 games (via digital download) that I never played before and there are hundreds of titles of the 360 offered all the time!

That being said, the backward compatibility experience will continue with Xbox Series X guaranteeing that all the Xbox 360 and Xbox One games I have will never go to waste! For the next-generation, backward compatibility on Xbox Series X will see benefits like improved booting time, shortened loading times, improved resolution, more stable frame rates and enhanced visuals. I can imagine playing the Xbox One versions of Red Dead Redemption 2, Grand Theft Auto V, Resident Evil 2 remake (and very soon the remake of Resident Evil 3) and Gears 5 on the Xbox Series X in the near future with the technical improvements in place.

Going back to the announcement of the specs, it has been declared at long last that the memory of Xbox Series X is set at 16 gigabytes using GDDR6 which is a more advanced RAM (random access memory). By comparison, my Xbox One has 8 gigabytes of DDR3 RAM and the Xbox One X has 12 gigabytes of GDDR5. Honestly, I was anticipating that Xbox Series X would come with 24 GB GDDR6. I’m not saying that I’m disappointed with the declared 16 GB GDDR6 and I will look forward as to how that memory of the new console will be beneficial for both gamers and game makers.

The internal storage declared was 1 terabyte NVME SSD. I’m surprised that just one terabyte will be used to launch the Xbox Series X. That’s because games as well as their respective patches, expansions and other digital stuff nowadays consume a lot of storage space. My current Xbox has only 500 GB storage and the Xbox One games alone in our household could not be fitted. This means uninstalling games and other digital pieces. I was hoping that at least 2 terabytes would be offered at launch. In fairness, Microsoft announced that the storage can be expanded with an Expansion Card (1 terabyte).

The way things are right now, I intend to buy the Xbox Series X not because the specs are impressive but also because of the very bright future of games coming. Microsoft in recent years acquired a whole lot of game studios to produce content for the Xbox and Windows platforms. Already a whole lot of new games are in the pipe line being produced gradually. Clear to say, Microsoft’s 1st party games lineup in the next generation will no longer be limited to the Halo, Forza Motorsport, Forza Horizon and Gears of War game franchises. At the same time, I am also excited for new games from 3rd party developers for this coming new console generation and soon we will find out how great their games will be on Xbox Series X.

Due to the coronavirus scare happening worldwide, we won’t see a new E3 this year and it is now up to the game publishers and Microsoft to come up with new ways to announce, emphasize and promote their next-generation games. I’d watch out for the upcoming Xbox digital event from Microsoft if I were you.

If you want to immerse yourselves with the very, very technical examinations of the Xbox Series X, I highly recommend you watch these embedded videos below.


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

 

Carlo Carrasco’s Movie Review: Terminator: Dark Fate

I will just say it straight and clearly – the Terminator film franchise is truly unnecessary today and, having seen its debut in the year 1984 (written and directed by a very young James Cameron), I should say that the saga really ended with 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Cameron’s masterpiece).

Out of curiosity, instead of anticipation, I got to watch Terminator: Dark Fate at the local cinema. Having been disappointed with Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator: Salvation (a bad movie notorious for Christian Bale’s loss of self-control) and Terminator: Genisys (the most insulting and most screwed up film of the franchise), I had low expectations for Dark Fate.

Ultimately, I left the cinema disappointed yet again although the experience was not as bad as that of 2015 (with Genisys).

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Clearly, the filmmakers took inspiration from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and mix the more established film franchise stars (in supporting roles) with the younger actors.

To put it short, Terminator: Dark Fate took creative inspiration from 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This means it was made with recycled concepts, told the story through its new characters (played by actors who are much younger and who are supposed to appeal to younger viewers) and back them up with the old, more iconic actors (Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton) limited to supporting roles. When it comes to presentation, this new movie felt more like a roller coaster ride than an actual story laced with spectacle stage-by-stage.

That is pretty much how Terminator: Dark Fate turned out. It does not matter that this was directed by Tim Miller, the guy behind 2016’s Deadpool. It does not matter that the great James Cameron got involved with producing and story credit (he shared with a few other names). It does not matter that this movie was made with a large budget of $185 million and relied heavily on computers to generate the visuals (which look fake most of the time). Whatever the preparations made, they did not matter at all because Terminator: Dark Fate is a rushed and creative disappointment that does not deserve your time nor your money.

The movie opened with archived footage of Sarah Connor expressing the darkness of the future coming. This was immediately followed by a scene set in 1998 showing Sarah and her son John living in an age in which Judgment Day did NOT occur on August 29, 1997. Suddenly another Terminator T-800 Model 101 (another Schwarzenegger-type Terminator) appears and actually kills John Connor leaving Sarah in turmoil.

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This is the protector sent through time by the human resistance.

John Connor, who has been a central story element in the 1984 and 1991 (memorably played by Edward Furlong) movies as he was destined to be the human resistance leader in the war with Skynet, was eliminated so quickly in the opening of this new movie very similar to how the character of Dwayne Hicks (played by Michael Biehn in the James Cameron-directed Aliens) got killed in a very dismissive way in the beginning of Alien 3. This move was nothing less than cynical, ill-conceived and even a daring disservice to Terminator fans.

From this point on, Terminator: Dark Fate turns into a “what if John Connor was dead and a new future war followed?” type of story.

Even though Judgment Day got prevented in relation to what Sarah and John achieved in Terminator 2, a new war between man and machines in the far future still occurs only this time Skynet is no more and the new enemy artificial intelligence (AI) this time is called Legion. This new story concept, by the way, is pretty insulting to any fan who loved the first two films directed by James Cameron as those flicks told a complete saga.

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This is the new, future leader of the human resistance.

And then the plot of The Terminator got recycled. A human fighter is sent back through time to protect a person who is destined to become the leader of the human resistance. Also sent back through time is a Terminator designed to look human and infiltrate society with a mission to kill the future human resistance leader. This is essentially what Terminator: Dark Fate truly is and even though Sarah Connor returned (plus another Terminator T-800 played by Schwarzenegger), there really is nothing new, nothing fresh and nothing worth enjoying.

When it comes to quality, this movie does not have much standing for it. The new characters are not engaging at all and their respective performers really had nowhere to go to engage moviegoers. Mackenzie Davis playing the new combat-ready protector only served to beef the film with action and there is nothing compelling about her act, nor did the script provide anything to make her androgynous character memorable. The new human resistance leader played by Natalia Reyes is forgettable and unbelievable even though she tried hard being dramatic. Compared with Sarah Connor in 1984’s The Terminator, the chosen one Dani Ramos in the film was transformed from a struggling, working-class person into a brave fighter in a very rushed and unconvincing manner. Also, if you take a close look at Natalia Reyes, she is too short to be a figure of authority, too small to use weapons and her act is clearly sub-par in terms of quality making her big misfire in terms of casting. The performance, script and directing really had no depth when it comes to developing the characters.

The new Terminator (Rev-9) played by Gabriel Luna was nothing more than an uninspired attempt to outdo the T-1000 of Terminator 2. Luna was decent with playing cold and emotionless but when he acts human to infiltrate human society, he’s just generic at best.

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This is the new cinematic villain that won’t stop to kill the future leader of the human resistance. Oh, the computer-generated visuals are often fake to look at.

As for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton returning, it is sad for me to say that these two iconic performers of the film franchise got wasted. Sarah Connor in this movie was poorly written and this modern version ruins the legacy the character had since 1991. Schwarzenegger meanwhile played another T-800 Terminator whose adjustment into human society turned out to be unconvincing, even outlandish. A Terminator adjusting into domestic human life? Totally unbelievable!

If there is anything to admire in this ill-conceived movie, it is Schwarzenegger’s delivery of his lines as the Terminator. He was over 70-years-old at the time of filming and he no longer has the super fit, muscular build he was famous for but he still proved to be excellent in being robotic with the dialogue. Sadly, this good stuff from the ex-governor of California was not enough to save this movie from its dark fate.

The film has a lot of action and there is a notable variety of it here. Even though action-packed and the action quality is an improvement over Terminator 3, Salvation and Genisys, Terminator: Dark Fate is ultimately a ride that can only provide temporary relief from the pain of the weak script. Oh, the use of fake-looking CGI hurts the action and stunts

Conclusion

TermiDF
Let this be the LAST Terminator movie and let it fade away. How? By NOT spending your precious time and money on it.

Although it is better than Terminator 3, Salvation and Genisys respectively, Terminator: Dark Fate still failed to be a solid film and definitely it is NOT worthy of being the official follow-up (the “real Terminator 3” to the first two films written and directed by James Cameron. Cameron’s involvement with this movie did not really improve the situation of the deteriorating Terminator film franchise and even worse, this big disappointment taints his record of excellence as a producer. Director Tim Miller, in my opinion, should go back to superhero movie making or try directing a brand new project of science fiction that does not involve an established intellectual property. How he will recover from Terminator: Dark Fate remains to be seen.

Bottom line – Terminator: Dark Fate is not recommended. You are better off skipping this movie but if you intend to watch it at all, do it out of curiosity. Don’t spend your money on this movie (the cinema, future release on streaming services, Blu-ray, DVD, etc.).

If you want to experience the cinematic greatness of the Terminator film franchise, go back to watching The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day instead.


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

PRESS RELEASE: SUN LIFE AQUATHLON SERIES 2019 CROWNS ITS CHAMPIONS

SUN LIFE AQUATHLON SERIES 2019 CROWNS ITS CHAMPIONS

The Sun Life Aquathlon Championship Series 2019 concluded in high spirits as the Top Aquathletes were crowned as champions during the awarding ceremony held at the Vermosa Sports Hub in Imus City, Cavite last October 13.

The Top Aquathletes were determined per age group and were ranked based on points accumulated throughout the year-long series. The champions per category are: Erika Nicole Burgos and Richard Anson Navo (for 15 to 17 age group); Naomi Daphne Sibayan and Rene Angelito Arroyo (18 to 24 age group); Kath Lagunsad and Gianmarco Sibayan (25 to 29 age group); Heather Europa and Raymund Velasco (30 to 34 age group); Mira Batilo and John Mark Yamoyam (35 to 39 age group); Ardy Theloesen and Noy Basa (40 to 44 age group); Leilani Tan and Rodrigo Abrilla (45 to 49 age group); Mariel Powell (for female above 50 age group); Ronald Allan Ginez (male 50 to 54 age group); Isidro Manuel (male 55 to 59 age group); and Adelio Torres (male above 60 age group).

“I’m very happy I was declared the champion in my category. I had to discipline myself and plan my schedule carefully in order to join the events of this series,” Arroyo said.

“It’s a good day for Sun Life Aquathlon and the wellness community. This event embodies the values and mission of GoWell, which is to help people live a healthier, brighter life,” Sun Life Health and Wellness Analyst Natalie Cruz said, who was present in the awarding ceremony.

The event marked the conclusion of the Sun Life Aquathlon Championship Series 2019, which included the Vermosa Sports Hub Aquathlon 1, Vermosa Sports Hub Aquathlon 2, and the Aquaman Aquathlon.

The Sun Life Aquathlon was hosted by Sun Life Philippines and organized by BikeKing Philippines. The event was also supported by Smart, SPEEDO, Apollo Petroleum Jelly, Vermosa Sports Hub, official timekeeper Garmin, and hydration partners Pocari Sweat and Sip Purified Water.

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For the complete list of winners of the Sun Life Aquathlon Championship Series 2019, visit http://www.BikeKingPhilippines.com. For more about Sun Life’s health and wellness initiatives, follow @SunLifePH and @GoWellPH on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Published on behalf of Bike King Philippines and Sun Life Financial.

 

 

A Look Back At The H.A.R.D. Corps #1

The 1990s was a decade of excess when it comes to superhero comic books. Apart from the persistent hoarding of comic books and the quest for profit, there were also these wide superhero franchises (or superhero universes) that popped up and even challenged Marvel Comics and DC Comics. Malibu Comics launched the Ultraverse while Valiant Comics came up with its own universe.

Valiant established itself nicely with popular characters like Bloodshot, X-O Manowar, Turok and Ninjak, and each one had its own regular series of comic books published. When it comes to teams, there was H.A.R.D. Corps (H.A.R.D. stood for Harbinger Active Resistance Division).

During the recent Hobby Con held at Las Piñas City, I luckily found myself a copy of The H.A.R.D. Corps #1 and read it for the first time ever. This is my review of the comic book which has a cover drawn by the great Jim Lee.

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Cover with art by Jim Lee.

Early story

The story begins with the 5-member team in the middle of a mission inside the secured facility of the Harbinger Foundation. Under fire from the facility’s armed personnel, the team (riding a floating vehicle) struggle to find their way and evacuate. Along the way, an oversized man called Big Boy grabbed one of their members and separated him from the others. With the situation getting worse, the captured member got “brain popped” (a remote form of self-destruction via the neural flash implanted inside the person’s brain). The remaining four manage to get away by means of aerial transport provided by their company.

Then a section of the facility exploded causing financial damage to Mr. Harada who decided to visit and inspect the site.

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Expository information done cleverly.

Some time later, the H.A.R.D. Corps enjoy the privacy and security at their headquarters in the Nevada desert. Team members Shakespeare, Major Palmer, Softcore, Hammerhead and Superstar wait for instructions at the debriefing room.

Quality

The H.A.R.D. Corps #1 is very well written by David Michelinie. Within twenty-two pages, Michelinie loaded enough details to explain the comic book’s core concept efficiently while at the same time he managed to tell an engaging story with a light touch on character development (note: there were many characters and there was not enough space for further personality emphasis). By the time the story ended, I really felt enlightened, entertained and wanting to find out what would happen next.

Michelinie’s handling of expository dialogue was done very efficiently. I’m talking about the private briefing done by an executive of the Cartel explaining to a recovering man named Kim (who was almost killed during the Los Angeles Riot) what H.A.R.D. Corps is, why the Cartel is in a race against Harada who has been manipulating Harbingers (persons with unique abilities). The Cartel opposes Harada with neural implants.

More on the team, H.A.R.D. Corps members are people who have gone through training programs and each of them had neural implants in their heads which enable them to mimic Harbinger powers (one at a time) through signals broadcast from a base station. Each of them was comatose and the use of the implants reversed the coma.

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Some action for you.

When it comes to visuals, the art by David Lapham (inked by Bob Layton) was pretty good. I like the high amount of detail placed on the surroundings in most of the panels. Action shots had a good amount of impact.

Conclusion

This comic book from late 1992 is a good and engaging read. I really enjoyed it and I like its core concept about a team of enhanced individuals who are technically living properties of very business-minded people opposed to Harada. Even by today’s standards, H.A.R.D. Corps concept really stands out among all superhero team comic books.

The H.A.R.D. Corps #1 is recommended and you can acquire a near-mint copy of it for only $4 at MileHighComics.com (as of this writing).

Plastics Drop-Off Project by Mindbuilders Preschool and Partners on November 5 and 6

If you have excessive plastic materials in your household or in your business establishment that you wish to get rid off, then you should seriously consider collecting them for proper disposal as Mindbuilders Preschool announced that a new plastics drop-off campaign will be held on November 5 and 6 at its facility at 168 Tropical Avenue, BF International, Las Piñas City.

This means you can bring your excessive plastic materials to their school, drop it off and then leave. The school and its partners will handle the rest. Event partner Pure Oceans Philippines will collect the materials and forward them to technology partner Envirotech Waste Recycling which in turn will process them all at its upcycling plant. The process on the part of Envirotech will convert the materials into 100% upcycled plastic products such as school chairs.

What is upcycling? It is the activity of making new furniture, objects, etc. out of old or used things or waste material, according to Cambridge Dictionary.

To learn more about Envirotech’s methods on dealing with plastic material, watch these two videos.

For more on upcycling, here is a 2017 news video about upcycling in South Korea.

Going back to Plastics Drop-off campaign, the plastic materials that will be accepted at the school are as follows:

SOFT PLASTICS – residual plastics like candy wrappers, sando bags, plastic labo, straws etc.

HARD PLASTICS – like broken appliance bits, toys, the bottles the junk shops won’t take, takeout containers (clean please) etc.

Before donating the plastic materials, make sure they are clean and segregated between soft and hard plastics.

This is not the first time the plastics drop-off was held this year. In fact, previous plastics campaign held in late August saw a grand total of 84.7 kilograms worth of plastic materials collected (note: I participated by bringing to them the plastic materials from our household).

So if you missed out on that campaign, now you have a new opportunity to get rid of excessive materials at your household or business establishment. Mark November 5 and 6 on your calendar!

As for me, I will donate plastic stuff again.

For more information, call Mindbuilders Preschool at 0927-2062506 or landline 88257419. Visit their Facebook page here.

About Mindbuilders Preschool

Mindbuilders Preschool is a Multiple Intelligence school located at 168 Tropical Avenue BF International Las Piñas City.  It was established in 2002 and is recognized by the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).  The preschool is also an active member of the Association of Las Piñas Private Schools.  To date, Mindbuilders Preschool established itself with not only good quality education but also worked with its students on several social responsibility projects.  The school prides itself in having strong home and school collaboration.  The bond built with families is even carried beyond the child’s preschool years – evidence that Mindbuilders Preschool is more than just a learning institution.

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To others reading this, if you are dissatisfied with print media and you want your community/organization/business to be featured on this website, please contact me locally via mobile number 0905-3350831 or via email at Carlo.Carrasco@gmail.com

We can negotiate, work together and be achievers together.


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

Sun Life Aquathlon Set to Award Champions

SUN LIFE AQUATHLON SET TO AWARD CHAMPIONS

The much-awaited Sun Life Aquathlon, a multi-sport racing event hosted by Sun Life Philippines in partnership with BikeKing Philippines, is set to award its winners at the finale of the series championship on October 13 at the Vermosa Sports Hub in Imus City, Cavite.

The event will mark the conclusion of the Sun Life Aquathlon Series Championship Series 2019, which includes the Vermosa Sports Hub Aquathlon 1, Vermosa Sports Hub Aquathlon 2, and the Aquaman Aquathlon.

“Hosting the Sun Life Aquathlon enables Sun Life to nurture the growing interest of Filipinos in multisport events. This is very much aligned with our thrust to promote health and wellness in the country,” Sun Life Chief Marketing Officer Mylene Lopa said.

Now on its third year, the Sun Life Aquathlon will see almost 400 participants racing to garner more points in the last leg of the series, in hopes of winning their respective categories. Categories are divided by age-appropriate distances: the shortest course is a 100-meter swim combined with a kilometer run designed for children ages seven to eight; while the longest course is a 500-meter swim combined with a five-kilometer run for participants 15 years old and above.

The Sun Life Aquathlon series points will be tallied and the Top Aquathlete of 2019 and other champions of the series will be announced during the awarding ceremony. Moreover, top three winners of each age-group category will receive specially designed finisher medals and gift packs.

The event is also supported by Smart, SPEEDO, Apollo Petroleum Jelly, Vermosa Sports Hub, official timekeeper Garmin, and hydration partners Pocari Sweat and Sip Purified Water.

For more information on this event, visit http://bikekingphilippines.com. For more about Sun Life’s health and wellness initiatives, follow @SunLifePH and @GoWellPH on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Published on behalf of Sun Life Philippines.

A Look Back At The Terminator #1 (1990)

Way back in 1984, a low-budget movie titled The Terminator became a hit with moviegoers which greatly helped the careers of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton and writer-director James Cameron. Terminator 2: Judgment Day became a massive hit worldwide in 1991 establishing the Terminator franchise as an important one leading to more movies (released in 2003, 2009 and 2015), video games and even a TV series. Oh yes, the upcoming film Terminator: Dark Fate will be released very soon and it now involves James Cameron.

Way back in 1990, a follow-up to the 1984 classic was released that did NOT involve Schwarzenegger, Cameron and Hamilton at all. The follow-up was a 4-issue mini-series titled The Terminator and was published by Dark Horse Comics which back then was licensed to do comic books of the Terminator franchise.

This is my review of The Terminator #1, written by John Arcudi and drawn by Chris Warner with ink work by Paul Guinan.

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Early story

The comic book opens in the year 2029. In the ruins of Los Angeles, a band armed humans struggle against the machines of Skynet during the night. They infiltrate a facility to find one of Skynet’s time displacement chambers which they learned previously from their leader John Connor. Thanks to Connor’s intervention, Skynet’s attempt to change history failed but the big catch is that only a prototype of the time displacement chamber was discovered. The final model of the chamber remains.

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As the armed guys make their way through, a Terminator watches them secretly….

Quality

When it comes to the writing, I can clearly see that John Arcudi (best known for The Mask) exerted effort to make this comic book relevant to the 1984 movie using key details such as the humans operating on the field only at night time (because Skynet will easily detect them during the day). Arcudi, however, expanded a bit on the franchise’s cinematic elements by emphasizing the use specific machines (steel-and-chrome wombs or tissue-generating chambers) to cover Terminator units with flesh and blood, and most notably, the use electronic communication between Terminator units which resemble telepathy among humans.

Cyberdyne, the fictional corporation heavily emphasized in Terminator 2, made an appearance in this comic book. With regards to Skynet, Arcudi emphasized that the living network was a lot more resourceful than what the movies suggested. The comic book has a nice build-up and along the way, the use of expository dialogue was pretty efficient and they are quite helpful for readers to grasp the story and key details.

With regards to the art work, Warner’s art style has that somewhat cartoony aesthetic on not just the humans but even on the machines. There were several Terminator units displayed without the flesh and from the way they were drawn, I could not even tell if those units were the T-800 type. Warner’s drawings on the physical environments carry a good amount of detail.

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Terminator stealthy approach captured nicely.

While Warner’s drawing has a cartoony aesthetic, the illustrated action is pretty violent and has quite an impact in some shots. There are some bloody images and implied nude shots as well.

Conclusion

What can I say? I bought The Terminator #1 at the Hobby Con this past weekend out of pure curiosity. After reading it thrice, I should say that I found this comic book proving to be better than what I expected. It is a surprisingly good read and the fact that this was published roughly a year BEFORE the release of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, I found this to be a worthy follow-up to the 1984 movie. In fact, it’s so good a follow-up I’d rather read it than waste my time watching Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator Salvation and the very awful Terminator: Genisys.

As such, I declare that The Terminator #1 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. 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

Plastics Drop-Off Project by Mindbuilders Preschool and Partners Nets 84.7 Kilograms (UPDATE: Next Project on November 5 and 6)

Plastics Drop-Off Project by Mindbuilders Preschool and Partners Nets 84.7 Kilograms

A total of almost eighty-five kilograms worth of plastic materials was collected by Mindbuilders Preschool from donors who visited them along Tropical Avenue, BF International, Las Piñas City when the plastics drop-off campaign was held on August 29 and 30.

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Several plastic materials collected at the school.

According to Mindbuilders Preschool Directress Marah V. Estuesta, precisely 84.7 kilograms worth of soft and hard plastic materials was dropped off by donors (including myself because I wanted to reduce plastic from our household and I do care about our environment) which made their project with partners Envirotech Waste Recycling, Inc. and Pure Oceans Philippines an undeniable success. Soft plastic materials include residual plastic like candy wrappers, plastic labo, straws and sando bags to name some. Hard plastic materials include toys, plastic bottles, take-out containers, broken appliance bits, etc.

“This is actually our second plastic collection drive for this year.  The first collection/turnover was done last March 2019.  This plastic drop-off project is actually a follow-up activity of the Mindbuilders Preschool’s Chopin Project 2019 ‘Green Guardians’ where our Kindergarten students planned and organized a fun run to raise funds for the Las Piñas Parañaque Critical Habitat Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA),” Estuesta stated.

She elaborated that the plastic materials collected were brought by Pure Oceans Philippines to Envirotech Waste Recycling’s upcycling plant which was designed to convert the materials into 100% upcycled plastic products such as school chairs. Pure Oceans confirmed to Mindbuilders Preschool that the collection of plastic exceeded their expectations.

Estuesta explained that their school really aimed to encourage the Mindbuilders families to adhere to lifestyle changes for the betterment of the environment as well as for the future of mankind and Mother Earth.

The result? Most of the plastic donated came from the said families. In addition, the school got a surprise assistance from CTSI Logistics which saw a key post in the Mindbuilders Preschool Facebook page. This resulted CTSI Logistics sending them their boxes of plastics and they expressed thanks to them for setting a great example in teaching kids the importance of recycling.

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CTSI Logistics dropped off several boxes of plastic materials at the school. This was the result of the company spotting a Facebook post from Mindbuilders Preschool. (photo source – Mindbuilders Preschool Facebook page)

When asked about the possibility that another plastic donation drive will be held in the near future, Estuesta stated that Mindbuilders Preschool foresees the Green Guardians plastic collection to be a long-term project by keeping its partnership with Pure Oceans as well as making the collection-turnover of plastic a regular practice to be done quarterly.

For those of you reading this, if you are within the BF Homes community and you have excessive plastic materials at home or at your business facilities, watch out for the next plastic drop-off drive of Mindbuilders Preschool which you can call at 82507419 and 0927-2062506.

Marah V. Estuesta’s Message to the Readers

“Everyone should be a green guardian and do their part to rise up and take action on behalf of the planet.  These environmental acts may be little but can definitely make a difference in our country and in the world.”

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Mindbuilders Preschool Directress Marah V. Estuesta and child with the plastic materials. (photo source – Mindbuilders Preschool Facebook page)

About Mindbuilders Preschool

Mindbuilders Preschool is a Multiple Intelligence school located at 168 Tropical Avenue BF International Las Piñas City.  It was established in 2002 and is accredited by the Department of Education.  The preschool is also an active member of the Las Piñas Private Schools Association.  To date, Mindbuilders Preschool established itself with not only good quality education but also worked with its students on several social responsibility projects.  The school prides itself in having strong home and school collaboration.  The bond built with families is even carried beyond the child’s preschool years – evidence that Mindbuilders Preschool is more than just a learning institution.

Mindbuilders Preschool successfully implemented its Green Guardians project this year.

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UPDATE (September 5, 2019)

Mindbuilders Preschool announced today that its next plastics drop-off project will be held on November 5 and 6.

If you are living within the South Metro Manila zone and you intend to get rid of the excess plastic materials of your household or your business establishment, now is a good time to start collecting.

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To others reading this, if you are dissatisfied with print media and you want your community/organization/business to be featured on this website, please contact me locally via mobile number 0905-3350831 or via email at Carlo.Carrasco@gmail.com

We can negotiate, work together and be achievers together.


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