A Look Back at Harbinger #18 (1993)

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

Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the early 1990s and explore a part of the Valiant Comics shared universe through the Harbinger monthly series.

In my previous retro review, some twists of events happened for Sting and his teammates during the Christmas season. The story was part of the continuing build-up and expansion of the Harbinger series’ own space within Valiant Comics’ shared universe under the direction of Maurice Fontenot. As of issue #17, another new character from outside of Sting’s group got introduced for them to interact with.     

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Harbinger #18, published in 1993 by Valiant Comics with a story written by Maurice Fontenot and illustrated by Howard Simpson.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins on January 1993. Within the city of New York, Faith, Shatiqua and Flamingo are being followed by a young man wearing a trench coat. They know they are being followed. They eventually found themselves just outside the same amusement joint where Shatiqua played a lot of arcade games and decide to enter.

Inside, many people recognized and greeted Shatiqua which reflects her outstanding reputation on arcade games. As Shatiqua, Faith and Kris approach a certain arcade game (that Shatiqua wants to play), they noticed the one playing it is the same little black boy (capable of disappearing) they encountered previously. Shatiqua then takes the first step to approach him and gain his attention.

The boy then disappears and reappears a short distance away from the three and right beside same trench coated man who earlier follow them. The boy then attempts to blow the place up with a hand grenade. The man in the trench coat reacts quickly revealing his power to Faith, Shatiqua and Flamingo.

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Sting shows his ignorance and lack of maturity while getting checked by Dr. Hayward.

This is the latest build-up type of story Fontenot composed and like the previous issue, another new character unconnected to Sting’s team got introduced for them to interact with. The new character here is referred to as Screen and he clearly is a more interesting character than the one introduced in issue #17. Screen here is more impulsive and aggressive and he sure looks like he has what it takes to oppose Sting. I also liked the way the creative team showed the impulsiveness and lack of maturity of both Sting and Screen.

Within the script is the establishment of a new sub-plot which symbolizes the growing danger of the Harbinger foundation towards not only on Sting and teammates but also against the others that oppose Toyo Harada and his organization. In some ways, the sub-plot will make you speculate about the invisible yet sinister forces who wield tremendous power over the top government officials who are supposed to be serving their constituents within the republic.

With all of these details laid down, I can say they are all engaging to read as Fontenot’s writing continued to be really strong. For the art, I can say that Howard Simpson continued to pump out really solid visuals while successfully keeping the primary characters recognizable all the time.

Conclusion

This image is very symbolic as Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary made it normal for the United States to make deals with terrorists (notably Iran and Palestine) and betray the patriotic Americans. This makes this comic book socially relevant and what you see with the corrupt administration of Joe Biden reconnects strongly with the Clinton legacy.

Harbinger #18 (1993) is a very solid comic book to read. The build-up continues to happen and along the way, the titular characters got developed some more and this time around, the Harbinger foundation’s power continues to get stronger which convinced me to look forward to the next issue.   

Overall, Harbinger #18 (1993) is highly recommended!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

Better than Streaming: Top Gun: Maverick 4K Blu-ray all set for November 1, 2022 release

Welcome back, fellow geeks, Blu-ray collectors and movie buffs! Whether you are a fan of Tom Cruise, or a fan of the 1986 classic Top Gun or if you want something new and exciting to add to your collection of 4K Blu-ray movies, November 1, 2022 will be an important for you as Top Gun: Maverick 4K Blu-ray will be released on that very day. Here are some good news…Top Gun: Maverick 4K Blu-ray will come with native 4K visuals and if you are convinced to go for it, you can order it in advance right now!

Top Gun: Maverick 4K Blu-ray cover.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the 4K Blu-ray announcement at Blu-ray.com. Some parts in boldface…

Paramount Home Media Distribution has officially announced that it will release on 4K Blu-ray and Blu-ray Joseph Kosinski’s Top Gun: Maverick (2022), starring Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, and Bashir Salahuddin. The two releases will be available for purchase on November 1.

Studio synopsis: Tom Cruise stars in the global phenomenon Top Gun: Maverick, the #1 film of 2022 with over $1.3 billion in worldwide box office and the highest grossing film of the producer/actor’s acclaimed career. Top Gun: Maverick has been hailed as “spectacular” (Brian Truitt, USA Today), “breathtaking” (Don Kaye, Den of Geek) and “jaw-dropping” (Sean O’Connell, Cinemablend).

After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), call sign: “Rooster,” the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka “Goose.”

Posted below are the specs of Top Gun: Maverick 4K Blu-ray

Video

Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)

HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, 1.90:1

Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Audio

English: Dolby Atmos

English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Subtitles – English SDH, French

Discs – 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc, Single disc (1 BD-100)

Digital – Digital copy included

Packaging – Slipcover in original pressing

Playback – 4K Blu-ray: Region free

As for the special features and technical specs, posted below are the details sourced from Blu-ray.com…

  • DOLBY VISION/HDR PRESENTATION OF THE FILM
  • DOLBY ATMOS AUDIO TRACK
  • Cleared For Take Off—Witness the most intense film training program as the cast prepare themselves for filming while pulling multiple G’s in a fighter plane.
  • Breaking New Ground – Filming Top Gun: Maverick—Prepare to take flight as you go behind-the-scenes with the cast and crew of Top Gun: Maverick on a journey to capture the most spectacular aerial sequences ever!
  • A Love Letter To Aviation – Tom Cruise shares his passion for aviation as he pilots his own aircraft, a vintage World War II P-51 Mustang, which would have been the Top Gun aircraft of its day.
  • Forging The Darkstar – Pushing the limits beyond Mach-10, the future of aviation is unveiled through an impressive experimental aircraft specially designed for the movie.
  • Masterclass with Tom Cruise – Cannes Film Festival—Tom Cruise discusses his incredible career at the flagship event of the 75th Cannes Film Festival.
  • “Hold My Hand” – Lady Gaga Music Video—Watch Lady Gaga’s music video for her standout lead single hit on the Top Gun: Maverick soundtrack.
  • “I Ain’t Worried” – OneRepublic Music Video—Check out the music video to the original new song from OneRepublic.
  • Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One Teaser Trailer – We all share the same fate. Watch the official teaser trailer for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One starring Tom Cruise. Coming to theatres 2023.

Top Gun: Maverick was released more than thirty years after its predecessor first came out. The 1986 Top Gun itself did not just make a tremendous amount of money in terms of ticket sales as it also made its mark in American pop culture complete with a memorable soundtrack and having notable actors like Val Kilmer, Michael Ironside (note: check out my retro review of V: The Final Battle plus my article about its Blu-ray release), Meg Ryan and Tim Robbins as supporting cast members. To know more about the 1986 classic, watch Oliver Harper’s in-depth retrospective by clicking here.

More on Top Gun: Maverick, the movie’s success during this COVID-19 pandemic age is astounding as it grossed past $1 billion worldwide and literally it reinvigorated movie theaters around the world! For context, posted below is an excerpt from a recent Forbes.com article regarding the theatrical success. Some parts in boldface…

Top Gun: Maverick’s exceptional success supplied a giant lifeline to theaters and cover for studios willfully underdelivering regular theatrical products in an uncommonly sparse summer. Top Gun: Maverick accounted for 23% of the domestic summer movie line-up. That is partially because it earned around $500 million more than even the rosiest projections.

Top Gun: Maverick also came with the benefits of advanced cinematography technologies and methods which made its flight scenes very pleasing to watch. Practical effects and daring flying methods were used which added to the organic nature of the movie’s visuals which is something that computer-generate imaging (CGI) cannot do. The production team also used IMAX cameras and if the movie is still playing in the near IMAX cinema near you, I encourage you to go watch it while you still have time.

Another notable thing about Top Gun: Maverick is that it defied the wokeness of Commiewood (Communist Hollywood) and emphasized American patriotism. For the newcomers reading this, be aware that there are many millions of socialists, Marxists, Communists and unpatriotic people among young people in America who were brainwashed by the socialists who worked as so-called educators in colleges. Take note from the excerpt posted below sourced from The Daily Mail. Some parts in boldface…

Top Gun is a straightforward action movie that celebrates all that is good about our country and our military.

Add to that the handsome leading men, a romantic drama with Cruise’s love interest Jennifer Connelly, and a new generation of actors and ‘pilots,’ like Miles Teller, and you have darn sequel.

There is also a really moving scene between Maverick and Iceman (Cruise and Val Kilmer) and I am woman enough to admit I cried through it.

But above all else — the movie isn’t overly political, it isn’t depressing, it isn’t focusing on the flaws of the United States of America and why we suck and why our flag and national anthem aren’t worth honoring.

The filmmakers also took a stand against the sickening Hollywood trend of pandering to the demands of the totalitarian Chinese government.

In the 1986 original movie, there is a patch depicting the Taiwanese flag on Maverick’s flight jacket. But during 2019 previews, the patch had been removed to alleged appease Chinese censors.

Movie-goers were happy to see the flag had been restored in the film — a signal that neither the filmmakers nor Cruise are content with being lapdogs to the Chinese regime.

I absolutely loved the movie and I felt good leaving the theatre that evening.

Hollywood must wake up to the reality that ‘go woke, go broke’ is real.

Considering its major achievements that go beyond ticket sales, Top Gun: Maverick is the modern-day entertainment marvel just waiting to be discovered by a lot more people who still have not seen it. Expect Top Gun: Maverick to be among the most wanted titles on Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray formats this coming Christmas shopping season. Watching the Tom Cruise-led movie in the cinemas, on 4K Blu-ray and Blu-ray is simply better than streaming.

Watch out for Top Gun: Maverick 4K Blu-ray on November 1, 2022.

In closing this Better than Streaming piece, posted below are Top Gun: Maverick-related videos and a few Top Gun videos for your viewing pleasure.

If you wish to join a group of movie enthusiasts and talk about cinema, visit the Movie Fans Worldwide Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/322857711779576

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

A Look Back at Harbinger #13 (1993)

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

Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the early 1990s and explore a part of the Valiant Comics shared universe through the Harbinger monthly series.

In my previous retro review, Sting, Faith, Kris, Flamingo and newcomer Shatiqua pursued a mission recklessly with revenge over the death of Torque as the main motivator. That story symbolically shows that the boundary between good and evil has been blurred away as Sting and his team just kept on pursuing their goals disregarding the rule of law and committing acts that make them no different from the sinister Harbinger Foundation. In some ways, Sting himself is gradually becoming as evil and abusive as his target (and former mentor) – Toyo Harada.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Harbinger #13, published in 1993 by Valiant Comics with a story written and drawn by David Lapham.

The cover that closely imitates the iconic image of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.

Early story

The story begins with Faith flying high above the streets of New York City talking to herself as she enjoys the flight as well as the flight of fantasy in her mind. After discreetly landing in an alley, she bumps into a man as she moves into the city sidewalk. Two other men could not help but laugh at what they just saw.

The man Faith bumped into gets mad, grabs her by the shirt and pulls out a knife. Suddenly, an old man comes out of nowhere and threatens the knife-wielding man which in turn prevented Faith from getting hurt. Upon realizing a lot of people are around them and watching, the knife-wielding man and his two companions move away.

The old man then befriends Faith. She thanks him for his help…

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Faith and the old man.

As I expected another Harbinger tale about Sting and his team going up against Harada’s foundation, I can say that this comic book surprised me in a rather delightful way. To be clear, this is a story mainly focused on Faith and under Lapham’s direction, readers will see her personality emphasized more than ever and what she is capable of with not just her special abilities but also with how she deals with problems.

The good news here is that the writing by Lapham is solid. Faith is clearly the comic book geek among her teammates and to see her work inside a comic book store in the city is amusing as her portrayal captures how comic book fans react when they see something really fascinating or special among the many printed materials displayed. It should be noted that Faith’s independence is nicely portrayed and she has her own way of dealing with the harshness of reality without ever letting her personal obsession with entertainment overwhelm her reasoning. The ironic thing about Faith’s view of life around her is that she does not show any regrets about the crimes the she and her teammates committed.

Those who are looking for superhero spectacle will find something gritty and short with regards to Faith. Adding further zest in this comic book are fantasized excerpts from a particular comic book Faith reads in the story.

Conclusion

Faith working inside the comic book store.

Harbinger #13 (1993) is a very surprising read that clearly delivered a good bout of fun. Its main attraction is Faith herself and this comic book has the most in-depth development of her character to date. Through her, comic book readers will have something to resonate with when it comes to comic book culture and geek interests. Ultimately, David Lapham succeeded in defining Faith and telling a solid Harbinger tale mainly focused on her. In some ways, this comic book is like a relief from all the tension built up on the rivalry between Sting’s team and the Harbinger Foundation. That being said, this comic book is no filler and it fits right in the monthly series.

Overall, Harbinger #13 (1993) is highly recommended!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

A Look Back at Harbinger #5 (1992)

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

Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the early 1990s and explore a part of the Valiant Comics shared universe through the Harbinger monthly series.

In my previous retro review, Peter/Sting, Kris, Faith/Zephyr, Charlene/Flamingo and John/Torque plus Ax returned from space. Due to his traitorous act against them, Ax was dropped by the team with a sense of rejection. It turns out, months had passed by on Earth which really shocked Sting and his teammates.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Harbinger #5, published in 1992 by Valiant Comics with a story written by Jim Shooter and Janet Jackson, and drawn by David Lapham.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins on March 5, 1992 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Sting, Fatih, Flamingo, Kris and Torque are on vacation together. With hours to spare before having a group dinner, the team decide to split up and have fun discovering the local places individually.

That evening, while having a nice dinner together, Kris notices Sting looking tense. Sting reveals that he senses the presence of Toyo Harada and moments later, he and his teammates saw the TV news about the terrible explosion on a building in Dallas, Texas.

Over at the airport in Dallas, Toyo Harada arrives from Louisiana. He and his personnel travel together to the site of the explosion…

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Harada arrives in Dallas, Texas.

I really liked the story here. Without spoiling the plot, the writers crafted a tale about a major incident that affected not only Sting and his teammates but also the Harbinger foundation  (including Toyo Harada himself) and even Valiant’s major figure Solar. Along the way, the creative team slightly expanded the lore of Harbinger within Valiant’s shared comic book universe further (specifically through the Harbinger foundation) before the crossover with Solar happened.

The story started in a really interesting way. I really enjoyed the way Sting, Faith, Kris, Torque and Flamingo were portrayed when they were not doing any superhero-related stuff as they enjoyed their vacation New Orleans. That being said, I felt like I was watching scenes of American teenagers from the 1980s movies written or directed by John Hughes. The scene in which Faith surprised Torque in the city zoo was amusing and believable to read.

Conclusion

Flamingo, Kris, Torque and Faith on vacation in New Orleans.

With a fine balance of spectacle, characterization, exposition and the obvious crossover with Solar, Harbinger #5 (1992) is yet another solid Valiant comic book to read. The progression of the development of Sting and his teammates moved forward some more while simultaneously building up the presence of the Harbinger foundation as the most antagonistic non-military organization in the entire Valiant comic book universe of the era. This is a must-read!

Overall, Harbinger #5 (1992) 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 as well as making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

I Love Israel: Israeli Ambassador Fluss discussed key topics with Philippine Press Secretary Cruz-Angeles

Almost two weeks have passed since Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. formally took office as President of the Philippines. Before Marcos’ inauguration took place, Israel’s Ambassador to the Philippines met with him and there was hope that the ties between the two nations will keep on getting stronger and more cooperation will happen.

In recent times, Ambassador Fluss officially interacted with the Marcos administration by meeting with Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles and discussed matters related to Israel-Philippines ties, according to a recent article by the Manila Bulletin.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin article. Some parts in boldface…

Israeli Ambassador Ilan Fluss and Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles met to discuss possible collaboration projects, including the sharing of Israel’s knowledge in delivering news and information to remote areas in the Philippines.

In their meeting held on Friday, July 8, Fluss talked about their efforts in delivering news and information to far-flung areas in Israel.

The ambassador presented to Angeles and her team Israel’s expertise in cybersecurity, digital diplomacy, and media tech for faster and more comprehensive delivery of news and information in the remote areas in the Philippines.

“As a global hub of innovation, Israel is committed to building bridges of innovation between our nations,” it said.

The two officials, according to the embassy, also “discussed possible collaboration and ways to strengthen the embassy’s connection with the office (of press secretary) in sharing the initiatives and partnerships between Israel and the Philippines.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. recently reverted the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and its attached agencies to the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS).

Part of its functions is to develop and implement necessary guidelines and mechanisms for delivering and disseminating information on policies, programs, official activities, and achievements of the President and the Executive Branch.

This recent development is only the beginning of a new chapter of Israel-Philippines ties with President Marcos and his administration who will be governing until mid-2028. Ambassador Fluss’ meeting with the Press Secretary is something we must be thankful to God for.

If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful (not religious), you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You can do your part supporting Israel by donating to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Do not forget to read the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Always stand in support of Israel and pray for President Marcos and all the other government officials who recently took office. Pray also for Israel as their national government is quickly and literally approaching a new crossroad and they also are facing foreign opposition in the forms of a geographic rival and wicked North American mainstream media.

In ending this I Love Israel piece, posted below are Israel-related videos for your viewing pleasure and enlightenment.

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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 with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

A Look Back at Harbinger #3 (1992)

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

Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the early 1990s and explore a part of the Valiant Comics shared universe through the Harbinger monthly series.

In my previous retro review, Peter/Sting, Kris, Faith/Zephyr, Charlene/Flamingo and John/Torque not only found a place to stay in thanks to a really generous doctor, they went ahead infiltrating the top secret facility of the Harbinger foundation which also brought them face-to-face with the leader. At this stage, Sting and his team have established their purpose not just for survival but to achieve something they believe is right.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Harbinger #3, published in 1992 by Valiant Comics with a story written by Jim Shooter and drawn by David Lapham.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins at 9:20 AM of July 6, 1991 inside the fine summer home of Dr. Heyward. As Sting tells his teammates that they have to move to catch a flight, Faith (wearing her superhero costume) flies through to find Kris and Torque. She finds the two of them seated next together with Kris having her two hands on Torque.

Meanwhile, Flamingo fixes her face as Sting talks to her. She rejects his declaration that she is a part of their team and reveals that Torque does not care about her. Flamingo considers herself as just another hosebag. Sting then tries to lift her up by telling her that she has to take care of herself and that she is part of their team.

Sting, Faith, Flamingo, Kris and Torque then leave for the airport in a brand new vehicle they just bought (having used the money they stole from Harbinger). Their vehicle flies off to the airport with Sting on the driver’s seat…

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Sting, his teammates and newcomer Ax in the heat of action.

Without spoiling the plot, I can say that the story in this comic book got even wilder than I anticipated. The high intensity of wild turnout of events in issue #2 do not even come close to what was told right here. At the same time, this particular story clearly showed this comic book series’ own place within the literary universe of Valiant Comics and anyone who read XO-Manowar comics of this particular era will instantly recognize the recurring creatures (opposition elements) from outer space.

As expected, the character development of the main characters progressed smoothly revealing some amusing character moments that I found interesting and other times amusing. As Sting continues to act with a sense of leadership as well as a false sense of maturity, you will get to see more of Kris providing him analytical and personal support.

The dialogue in this comic book was written to be more dynamic and this is highlighted in the scene in which Sting and his teammates discuss what to do with their new team objective, and what to do with the computer hacker Ax who has shown Harbinger potential. That being said, Jim Shooter carefully crafted the dialogue to reflect how American teenagers in the late 1980s and early 1990s expressed themselves.

When it comes to superhero spectacle, there is a lot to enjoy here. Action scenes and the use of special abilities or super powers were executed at a moderate pace yet they were intense to look at. Each of the main characters had his/her own share of the spotlight even as the spectacle moved.

Conclusion

Meet Ax, the guy who specializes on cracking and hacking.

Harbinger #3 (1992) is a very engaging story to read which was balanced with a good amount of spectacle, nice character moments and the wildest turn of events so far in this particular comic book series. On face value, this comic book’s core concept (which involves a lot of science fiction elements) seemed over-the-top but Jim Shooter and David Lapham succeeded in telling a story that is believable and at the same time fun. It is also within this comic book that readers will get to see more of the Valiant Comics universe elements without the need of a crossover or a cameo appearance of an established Valiant hero. This is definitely the tale of Sting and his team that was simply taken into a much higher flight of fantasy. That being said, I am looking forward to the next issue.

Overall, Harbinger #3 (1992) 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 with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

A Look Back at The Night Man #8 (1994)

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

Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the mid-1990s which was a pretty wild time for comic collectors. To be more specific, this newest retro comic book review revisits the Ultraverse through The Night Man monthly series.

In my previous retro review, Night Man encountered a new, murderous villain who could change into a werewolf. The mentioned villain named Nik Apocaloff is a lot more than being able to become a monster…he has a notable family background, is highly education and is connected with powerful figures like J.D. Hunt. That makes him a formidable antagonist versus Night Man and his civilian identity as Johnny Domino. Apocaloff proved to be such a powerful villain, he became the center of attention of Night Man during one of his radio broadcasts.

With those details laid down, here is a look back The Night Man #8, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Steve Englehart and drawn by Kyle Hotz.  

The cover.

Early story

The story begins somewhere inside one of the many rooms of city hall. An intense meeting goes on with the mayor present and what happened recently involving both the Night Man and the werewolf made an impact on the matters of discussion.

In an apartment somewhere in the city, Apocaloff is in his monster form and he just murdered a lady and consumed a lot of her flesh. Suddenly the door is knocked by someone who knew the victim. This causes Apocaloff to leave through the window and climb the steps to the rooftop. There, he changes back into his human form.

Elsewhere, Lt. Carleton Briggs arrives back in his office where Sergeant Dade is waiting. After a s short chat, they hug and kiss each other. The Night Man suddenly enters through the window…

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J.D. Hunt and the Teknight project.

Wow! This is one very compelling tale of the Night Man. To get straight to the point, the highlight of this comic book is the rematch between the title character and Apocaloff. To be clear, the rematch was not handled with brainless action in mind but rather with a lot of strategy combined with a medium-paced approach on progression which brought back a lot of vibes from Night Man’s encounters with the members of TNTNT a few issues back. Storywise, the stakes behind the rematch are much higher as the Night Man makes a solid pitch to the local police in the fight against crime (which made me think about the key elements of Batman comic books)  while the tycoon J.D. Hunt (whom Apocaloff interacted with previously) just gave his approval for the Teknight project.

When it comes to character development, Apocaloff’s strong adherence to the past (Russian legacy, old world sensibilities, connections with California’s history) are emphasized some more. For his part, Night Man’s intelligence and approach to vigilantism got developed even more.  

Conclusion

Night Man comes to the police with evidence about Apocaloff.

The Night Man #8 (1994) is another solid comic book of the Ultraverse. The story was told with an overall medium pace and the payoffs for each build-up were indeed satisfying. Considering the presence of the police in the story, this particular Night Man issue has the strongest similarities with DC Comics’ Batman. More importantly, this issue succeeded in developing both the titular hero and his most elaborate villain. It seems to me that Night Man and Apocaloff were made to clash with each other beyond this issue and the previous one.

Overall, The Night Man #8 (1994) is recommended.

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Better than Streaming: Red Dawn Collector’s Edition 4K Blu-ray coming out on August 16, 2022

Welcome back, fellow geeks, Blu-ray collectors and movie buffs! If you are sick and tired of the modern-day wokeness-filled garbage of Communist Hollywood (Commiewood) and if you are nostalgic about 1980s Hollywood cinema, then you should be interested to learn that the Red Dawn Collector’s Edition 4K Blu-ray will be released on August 16, 2022 and already pre-orders are being accepted online.

Red Dawn Collector’s Edition 4K Blu-ray is set for an August 16, 2022 release.

According to the Blu-ray.com page of the movie, Red Dawn 4K Blu-ray disc will have native 4K visuals and a brand new 4K restoration of the film from its original negative has been reported. These details are very much welcome because I have Red Dawn on Blu-ray disc (1080p) and its visuals were not very good. Moving forward, posted below are the specs for Red Dawn 4K Blu-ray

Video

Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)

HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Subtitles – English SDH

Discs – 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc, Two-disc set (1 BD-100, 1 BD-50)

Packaging – Slipcover in original pressing, Inner print

Playback – 4K Blu-ray: Region free, 2K Blu-ray: Region A (B, C untested)

For the newcomers reading this, Red Dawn is a 1984 action movie directed by John Milius that explores what would happen in America – specifically at a Colorado town surrounded by wilderness – once World War III breaks out and the nation gets invaded by the Soviet Union (Russians) and their South American Commies. A small group of teenagers manage to escape the invasion of their town and moved into the wilderness with limited supplies to survive with. As the Leftists impose order in the town, the group slowly organizes itself into a force of opposition with one objective: freedom.

This movie starred the late Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson and Jennifer Grey when they were much younger. As the 1980s had lots of Hollywood movies about teenagers presented in comedies and drama films, Red Dawn easily stands out among them all as it deals a very serious concept related to the Cold War back then. Its story is a powerful reminder that Communists and the Satanic Left are essentially evil.

Given the fact that America today has several millions of young people brainwashed by socialists in schools, the fact that Leftist terrorists groups like Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Antifa are tearing down American society, the fact that Hollywood has lots of Commies and SJWs among its members, the fact that gun owners’ rights are being attacked a lot by the Left, the fact that Democrats prioritize illegal immigrants over American citizens, and the fact that lots of politicians abuse their governmental powers to emphasize socialism, Communism, Marxism and other wicked values on the people, Red Dawn of 1984 is still highly relevant. This is the movie that liberals and people poisoned with political correctness cannot tolerate. Watch out for Red Dawn Collector’s Edition 4K Blu-ray on August 16, 2022.

In closing this Better than Streaming piece, posted below are Red Dawn-related videos for your viewing pleasure.

If you wish to join a group of movie enthusiasts and talk about cinema, visit the Movie Fans Worldwide Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/322857711779576

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North Carolina-based church pays for fuel benefiting more than 300 people

News published every day by the mainstream media outlets can be very depressing and stressful to absorb. Here in the Philippines, many millions of still unused COVID-19 vaccines are at risk of expiring. Overseas, America has its worst inflation in decades and the prices of fuel are very expensive nowadays.

If you are looking for good news and details that can help deepen your faith in the Lord, check out the recent CBN News story about a North Carolina-based church that paid to fill the fuel tanks of hundreds of customers who lined up at the gas stations. Considering how expensive gas is right now, the anointed move by Kingdom City Church is a blessing to those who badly need gas at a time when they are struggling financially. To be clear, Kingdom City Church has been doing this special thing for years.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the CBN News report. Some parts in boldface…

With painfully high gas prices still hurting American families nationwide, churches across the country have partnered with gas stations to help alleviate the burden with either discounted or free fuel.

Kingdom City Church in Charlotte, North Carolina recently took part in helping to fill the tanks of those in need.

“At the end of the day, it’s a blessing to be a blessing to God’s people,” Pastor Brian Carn told CBN News’ The PrayerLink.

He explained that his church has been doing a gas outreach for several years, but with the rising cost of goods, this year’s event was more significant.

I believe that the life of a Christian should be a life that is overflowing with compassion,” he shared. “We were just faithfully doing it over the last couple of years and it actually came in handy this year in a powerful way.”

More than 300 people received free gas, along with grocery vouchers and gift cards.

“People were actually running out of gas, coming to the gas station,” Carn said of the event that took place in late March. “We were having to push their cars to the gas station, but to be able to use that as a tool to get people saved, pray for people, get people healed and delivered.”

Members of Kingdom City Church pumped gas for drivers so they could sit in their cars and receive ministry and prayer.

“I drove about 25 minutes to get over here to get a tank of gas,” said one driver. “Everyone was pleasant and I really appreciate everything you guys have done for me and everyone out here today.”

“Once we got here you feel the Holy Spirit around us…you can feel His Spirit just move you,” another driver told the church. “Speaking to people prior to getting the gas, praying with people…it’s earth-shaking.”

Pastor Carn personally financed the entire event, giving away $10,000 worth of fuel. He said he wanted to pour back into the community and sow a seed.

“I wanted to make it my business to sow into those who come. You know a lot of times as the church we do a lot of receiving, but not much pouring back into the people,” he explained, “so I wanted to make it my business to sow a seed into the lives of people all over the city of Charlotte so that God could use me as a conduit to let them know that God cares about your tank as much as he cares about your pocket and your heart.”

The above article ended quoting Pastor Carn: “You know Jesus fed them first and then ministered to them. So that was our fish and the loaves.”

Now, check out the related CBN News video below. Watch how caring Kingdom City Church is to the people who need gas…

What this news story should remind you is that when you are blessed by the Lord, do not forget to be a blessing to others. Never forget that God blesses the faithful abundantly! Learn from the following holy scriptures below…

“Your lives light up the world. For how can you hide a city that stands on a hilltop?  And who would light a lamp and then hide it in an obscure place?  Instead, it’s placed where everyone in the house can benefit from its light. So don’t hide your light!  Let it shine brightly before others, so that your commendable works will shine as light upon them, and then they will give their praise to your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:14-16 (TPT)

For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Hebrews 6:10-12 (NKJV)

Yes, God is more than ready to overwhelm you with every form of grace, so that you will have more than enough of everything —every moment and in every way. He will make you overflow with abundance in every good thing you do. Just as the Scriptures say about the one who trusts in him: Because he has sown extravagantly and given to the poor, his kindness and generous deeds will never be forgotten. This generous God who supplies abundant seed for the farmer, which becomes bread for our meals, is even more extravagant toward you. First he supplies every need, plus more. Then he multiplies the seed as you sow it, so that the harvest of your generosity will grow. You will be abundantly enriched in every way as you give generously on every occasion, for when we take your gifts to those in need, it causes many to give thanks to God.

2 Corinthians 9:8-11 (TPT)

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)

For those who are wondering what Kingdom City Church is, check out the excerpt of their history from their website posted below…

Kingdom City Church (KCC) is a national ministry founded in September 2016 by Senior Pastor, Brian Carn, along with the ministry assistance of our former Associate Senior Pastors. KCC is currently located in Charlotte, North Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; Houston, Texas; and soon to be all over the world! With only a word from the Lord, “Move to Charlotte!” Prophet Carn spoke to the people of God concerning this great assignment the Lord had given him. It was the beginning of a ministry who was hungry for a move of God like never before! As we launched our first service in Charlotte, NC on Sunday, September 4, 2016, we knew God was beginning something that would change the lives of many for years to come. With an extremely packed sanctuary every week, the power of God flowed through the place from beginning to end, compelling men and women to be saved and have a deeper encounter with God.

Praise and thank the Lord for Kingdom City Church blessing so many people with their latest gas outreach! Through them, God’s love, care and blessing were passed on to others!

To learn more about Kingdom City Church, visit their official website at https://www.kcccharlotte.org/wp/ and their official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KCCculture/. On Twitter, follow them at  https://twitter.com/kcc_culture

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Note: The Kingdom City Church logo is a property of the church.

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 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/

Female sports in Iowa are strictly for biological females!

While I was able to visit the United States several times in my life, I never got to visit the state of Iowa. Very recently, Iowa made waves in the news as their governor Kim Reynolds signed into law a significant piece of state legislation that prohibits transgender girls and women from participating in sports events of females – specifically from kindergarten through college –, according to a CBN News report.

In the presence of many young ladies and little girls, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds formally signed into law House File 2416 which prohibits biological males from competing in females’ sports. (photo source – @IAGovernor)

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the CBN News report. Some parts in boldface…

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed a bill Thursday that prohibits transgender girls and women from participating in female sports from kindergarten through college

During the signing of House File 2416, Reynolds was surrounded by a group of cheerful young female athletes. The measure received approval from the state’s House and Senate, passing with a vote of 31 to 17.

This is a victory for girls’ sports in Iowa,” Reynolds said in a statement. “No amount of talent, training or effort can make up for the natural physical advantages males have over females. It’s simply a reality of human biology. Forcing females to compete against males is the opposite of inclusivity and it’s absolutely unfair.” 

Under the new law, schools at all levels must designate sporting events as male, female, or co-ed. Students wanting to compete in sports must play with others that match the gender listed on their birth certificate.

Numerous groups shared their support of HF 2416 and applauded Gov. Reynolds for defending female sports in Iowa.

Protecting girls’ sports isn’t political; it’s biological reality,” said The Family Leader, a conservative group based in Iowa. “Allowing genetically male athletes to compete in women’s sports puts our girls at an undeniable physical disadvantage and threatens their athletic opportunities. Our high school girls and college women deserve to compete on a level playing field, and today, that playing field is protected.” 

Trans girls are boys, not girls. Trans women are men, not women,” remarked State Senator Jeff Taylor (R-District 2) during a hearing about safeguarding women’s sports.   

Christiana Holcomb, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), praised Iowa for passing the legislation.  

When the law ignores biological reality, female athletes lose medals, podium spots, public recognition, and opportunities to compete,” Holcomb said. “Comparably fit and trained males will always have physical advantages over females – that’s the reason we have girls’ sports.

However, Iowa Safe Schools, an LGBTQ youth advocacy group, called the measure “a solution in search of a problem” to score “petty political points at the expense of Iowa’s children,” the organization tweeted.

Iowa became the 11th state to ban transgender athletes from competing in female sports. Others include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.

While I am clearly not a resident of Iowa and it has been many long years since my time of sports officiating has ended, I must say that the new law of Iowa makes perfect sense and it should help the collective American efforts to push back against the wrongful allowing of biological males competing right along with their female counterparts in sports events that are meant for female competition.

I personally saw lots of local sports events which had competitive categories specific to age-groups (apart from the normal men’s open and women’s open categories) which are further split by gender. Take for example, in a foot race that attracts several hundred participants, the athletes belonging to the 20-24 age-group who emerged as the top 3 finishers of their gender result the awarding of medals and prizes to the top 3 males and top 3 females under the 20-24 age category. Winners of different genders under the same age-group are not to be awarded in a mixed-gender approach.

The trend of transgendered females – who are biological males identifying as females – competing with true females (biological females) in female sports events is very wrong and clearly unfair. As such, I strongly agree with Iowa’s new law and I can say that the other states that implemented the ban on transgender athletes from competing in female sports did the right thing. Transgender athletes’ participation will ruin not only female-focused sports events but sports events in general as we know it.

Let us be clear here. God created human beings only in the form of male and female. There is simply no in-between and no alternatives to the male and female. Read the holy scriptures below. Key parts related to gender in boldface for you readers…

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Genesis 1:26-28 (NKJV)

So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.

And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

And Adam said:

“This is now bone of my bones

And flesh of my flesh;

She shall be called Woman,

Because she was taken out of Man.

Genesis 2:20-23 (NKJV)

The holy story of God’s creation of humans with male and female as the genders is definitive and clearly truthful. “Transgender” refers to an individual whose gender identity differs in some way from his/her birth or biological sex. To put it clearly, transgenderism is an abnormality and like homosexuality, it is also an abomination. Transgenderism is clearly unnatural. In addition, there is a Satanic Left effort in this world that exists to not only cause gender confusion but also distort humanity as well. For added insight, watch the video below…

For added insight about the unfair inclusion of biological males in females’ sports events, watch the videos below…

Going back to the CBN News report, I strongly agree with Governor Kim Reynolds that the law she signed is a victory for girls’ sports in their state and that having biological females forced to compete against biological males is both unfair and the opposite of inclusivity. I also strongly agree with The Family Leader group that the protection of girls’ sports is a biological reality and not political. Iowa state senator Jeff Taylor pointed out the obvious – Trans girls are boys. Trans women are men.

We should praise and thank the Lord for this Iowa breakthrough. We should pray to Him that more states around the United States as well as nations around the world will follow Iowa’s example and set the record straight – females’ sports are strictly for biological females.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about Iowa’s approved law banning transgender girls and women from participating in sports events of females? Do you agree that biological females should always be protected from the biological males trying to compete against them in sports events that are meant for females? Do you think that the transgendered people are being discriminated? If you are a parent and you know that your athlete daughter will be competing with a disadvantage in a sports event that includes biological males as her competitors, how would you feel?

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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 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/