Whirlwind FX Element is a Mechanical Gaming Keyboard that Reacts to What You’re Playing | Review

Purchasing a mechanical keyboard is a necessity when building a gaming pc setup. Not only will they up your game, but most will also make your gaming…

Whirlwind FX Element is a Mechanical Gaming Keyboard that Reacts to What You’re Playing | Review

KILLMONGER – MARVEL’S BEST FAILURE

Hey and Welcome to the next Lesson.

KILLMONGER – MARVEL’S BEST FAILURE

            -by Marvel Studios

It seems that with COVID-19, life has been put on pause. Of course, businesses and workplaces have been hit tremendously and it even seems that entertainment sources have been hit as well. Most namely, Disney+.

With Marvel Studios finishing their Infinity Saga, everyone’s been aching to know what comes next. Then they launch a conference to give us a sneak-peak and fans hit the roof! Add onto it their “What If” section and let the internet explode.

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What caught my eye the most was Killmonger being slated to returning for this! As Marvel’s #1 “Villain” [yes, over Thanos because Endgame happened], I wanted to know what they had planned for him because…I didn’t think there was anything left.

Killmonger already won.

No, he wasn’t the hero, nor, in totality, can I label him a “villain”, either, but when it comes to acting as an antagonist and executing his plan and seeing it through to its success, Killmonger did all that and then some.

Let me explain.

From a very young age, Erik was forced to live on the hardened streets as an orphan, in and out of the system. In that time, he was exposed to how bad life is for Black communities and, knowing his lineage, got proactive and decided to do something about it.

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Aligning himself with Ulysses Klaue, he’d given him access to places with vibranium to build trust, but when the time was right, he killed him and brought him to Wakanda as a peace offering to an “outsider” to be let inside.

The methods weren’t heroic, but he got the job done.

After that, he was granted access to the Throne Room/Council of Wakanda to meet with the king and plead his case.

“I want the throne,” he says. “Y’all sitting up here comfortable. Must feel good… There’s about 2 billion people all over the world that looks like us… but their lives are a lot harder. Wakanda has the tools to liberate them all.”

Not only was he laughed at and mocked, he was brought in in chains. The same way he’d seen his people being over policed, he, while completely in the right, is treated no differently.

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What’s worse is, at this point, T’Challa, his own flesh and blood, KNOWS who Erik is and instead of trying to reason with him and see what can be done to a boy who was wronged of his rights his whole life, he orders him to be taken away.

It’s only by chance that Erik’s identity is revealed. If left to T’Challa, he would’ve been responsible for his cousin to be locked up and, at this point, all Erik wanted was justice brought to people in the states – the very same people that, conjecturally speaking, if Wakanda had intervened with the slave trade, wouldn’t need justice today.

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From there, he challenges T’Challa for the throne and the fight on Warrior Falls. After ultimately winning in the end, he tosses T’Challa over the falls and takes the throne.

That…always struck me as odd, but I’ll get to that in minute.

After that, he sets his plan as king into action but is later intervened by T’Challa upon his return. The two fight for Wakanda and, ultimately, the world, with T’Challa emerging the victor and Erik dying in part of it – his plan was complete.

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Dying, yes, was part of the plan.

Look at the facts –

Since stepping foot into the throne room, his actions were clear; he wanted justice for Black People.

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This was a notion that was often ignored, if not ultimately turned down because Wakanda would lose their way of life, while Black people would just lose their life.

As Prince of Wakanda, he wasn’t believed, why would he assume T’Challa would do anything? The only way to help them was for him to take the throne and the only way to take the throne was through ritual by combat.

Even so, once he won, Killmonger never actually killed T’Challa. That was never the plan. Erik had gone through military training and given the moniker “Killmonger”, he knows how to kill and confirm the kill as he did with Klaue earlier.

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Erik never added a scar to his body.

Erik knew T’Challa was alive.

He wasn’t even surprised when he returned. Just look at his face. There’s no anger or shock. He’s just…looking.

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The plan needed needed to end with Erik dying. In truth, had he been kept alive, it would only cause in-fighting in Wakanda. As King, Erik naturally would’ve garnered followers under his rule.

Not only that, he ALSO has the heart-shaped herb in his system and, unlike everyone else, he couldn’t have his removed.

When he burned the herbs, he made it so no one after him could have it. Meaning, if T’Challa died, Erik would be the only one to become Black Panther. There needs to be only one and Erik knew his time was up.

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Why, then, was he so ruthless? Why was he so villainous? Because he needed to fit the role for Wakandans to take him seriously.

If they had a tyrant on the throne, they would be more enthused to help the rest of the world so no one would suffer as he had and they would not, in turn, create another Killmonger.

In short, Erik needed to be a villain because, even in Wakanda, it’s easier to see the bad guys when they’re BLACK.

[DISCUSSION:]

What do you think, class?

Is Killmonger a hero?

Was T’Challa right to take him away?

Should he have saved him in the end?

Leave a comment below and let me see what you have to say.

Well, that’s all for now. So, until Wakanda lets me in or [more specifically] Wakanda lets me in NOW, I’ll see you for the next lesson.

CLASS DISMISSED!

LEMILLION – HERO OF THE YEAR

Hey and Welcome to the next Lesson.

MIRIO – HERO OF THE YEAR

            -by Kohei Horikoshi & Toho and Bones

My Hero Academia is easily one of the most popular and well-written manga in recent history. It’s got consistently great writing, a vibrant cast of characters and, above all, originality. There isn’t a single character that doesn’t deserve their own story and not a single development has been predictable or by-the-numbers.

So, with that in mind, who can you say is the best hero?

WHO’S THE BEST HERO? – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Is it Deku, the protagonist, with the Quirk [or superpower] of One for All?

Is it Todoroki the half-ice-half-fire hero?

Or is it Bakugou the—no. No. No, it’s not Bakugou.

The funny thing is, I’d wager it’s actually none of these characters and someone else entirely.

The Best Hero is Mirio Togota aka LEMILLION.

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What’s ironic is that, especially just by looking at him, Mirio doesn’t seem to be all that special. His design is the simplest, with hardly any facial features, and he’s even in some regards a carbon copy of All Might, the series’ Superman. Just…not as good.

Even his Quirk is passive, Permeation. He can phase through solid objects.

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In other words, he can run away.

And yet, he still gets the top vote.

Let me explain.

@ManimeMatt on Twitter & YouTube [ https://www.youtube.com/c/ManimeMatt ] posted the following video:

It’s very well written and every point is thought out. I just disagree, ESPECIALLY for the year of 2020. That said, I think Matt had a better point, not which hero was better, but maybe Mirio not being deserving of One for All is what makes him the better hero.

To touch on a few points in his video [I swear this isn’t a reaction response, NEW SUBSCRIBER!] he’s absolutely right. Mirio didn’t choose to follow the villain, Overhaul, and Eri was further endangered because of it.

While there’s a debate to be had, and plenty of fault to go around, I think Mirio’s choice was ultimately the best one.

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There was a moment of potential, direct confrontation and he eluded that. He ran away. Yet, when further information about her was discovered, the cavalry joined the cause and an entire team went after Overhaul and saved Eri.

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All because Mirio ran away.

But Mirio’s a hero, right? He’s not supposed to run away.

And that’s where I was wrong. Mirio wasn’t running away, he was picking his battles.

And there, students, is today’s lesson.

[LESSON]

Life lately feels like the world is on your shoulders and every day it gets heavier. If it isn’t one discouraging thing, it’s another and it’s, sadly, getting old talking about. It doesn’t seem to end and, in these times,  you may feel like you’re not at your best or where you should be.

It’s fair to feel that way and you’re no less of a person because of it. Mirio experiences hardships every day and is allergic to frowning.

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You’ll seldom ever see him without a smile and with a passive quirk like permeation I wondered why until I saw him in action. He doesn’t run from fights, he analyzes them and fights strategically.

PHASING THROUGH ERI TO KICK HER CAPTOR – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

He doesn’t hit who he doesn’t want to and isn’t hit by anything he can control; THAT is why he’s the Hero of the Year! Learning from Mirio, we can learn to not overload ourselves with problems beyond our grasps and choose to tackle situations that we can change.

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Even without his Quirk, Mirio stands, fights and smiles until the bitter end.

He isn’t the hero we deserve, but the one we NEED right now.

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It’s okay to feel overwhelmed but just know you’ve always got help when you need it and if you wanna take on one million problems, just remember to always start with ONE.

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[DISCUSSION:]

What do you think, class?

Is Mirio the best hero?

Which quirk would YOU want?

Is Manime Matt right about who’s more deserving?

Leave a comment below and let me see what you have to say.

Well, that’s all for now. So, until My Hero meets the X-Men or [more specifically] Lemillion meets Shadowcat, I’ll see you for the next lesson.

CLASS DISMISSED!

Rating: 1 out of 5.

TOP 5 CHARACTERS [+ SKINS] THAT DESERVE TO BE IN AVENGERS

Hey and Welcome to the next Lesson.

TOP 5 CHARACTERS [+ SKINS] THAT DESERVE TO BE IN AVENGERS – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

MARVEL’S AVENGERS

            -by Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montréal & Square Enix

So…the beta for MARVEL’S AVENGERS happened and with more to come! For what it was, I thought it was pretty enjoyable. Nothing too great, but enough of a groundwork to make something great eventually later on a la Overwatch.

It reminded me of my times playing X-Men Legends or Marvel Ultimate Alliance, but a more in-the-now version, something 3rd person and more action packed rather than topdown and with reports of it not being anywhere near done [ https://www.gamesradar.com/marvels-avengers-endgame-will-look-nothing-like-its-beta/ ] it seems we’re in for something pretty big in the years to come.

So, what’s MISSING!?

While this isn’t a scrutiny of the game, I feel there’s room for everyone so we’re going to do a TOP 5 of R.J.’s FAVE’s!

TOP 5 NON-MCU CHARACTERS THAT DESERVE TO BE IN AVENGERS.

STORM.

STORM – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

It should go without saying Storm has major pull as an X-Men. There’s a grace she has on each panel she’s drawn and is an irreplaceable member to any team she’s put on in any game she’s in.

X-Men Legends, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Marvel Ultimate Alliance – Storm easily makes the list and with Black Panther 2 in development, and her relationship with Black Panther [already potentially being in the game], it’s a no-brainer.

Put her on the team and show that, unlike Thor, she’s more than just Thunder. There’s a storm brewing.

NAMOR.

NAMOR – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

So… Aquaman hit a billion. Don’t ask me how but it did. AQUAMAN. While its own twist on the fun, superhero movie plot, it did shed light on a realm before Marvel could.

Atlantis.

With Marvel taking their own spin on the mythos of it it could catapult to stardom and make Namor a household name. With Storm’s abilities being more weather related, you can have Namor hold his own with aquatic based attacks. He’s definitely someone I can sea joining the ranks.

BLINK.

BLINK – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Okay. So save for Gifted and the few scenes we got of her in X-Men Days of Future Past, Blink isn’t really well known, but that’s exactly why she should join the game.

Her ability to open portals in reality to allow others to teleport vast distances is an in-expendable asset to combo attacks and unlimited abilities.

Don’t Blink. You’ll miss her in the fight!

NOVA.

NOVA – ALL RIGHTS RESREVED

With Captain Marvel being a shoo-in and Iron Man joining the Guardians of the Galaxy in some comics, why the hell WOULDN’T Nova join?

Closer to DC’s Green Lanterns, having another fighter take to the skies with an intergalactic backing [already dropped in the Guardians films] Richard Rider belongs as a Corp. member of the team.

BLADE.

BLADE – ALL RIGHTS RESREVED

Yes. I don’t need a reason, but lemme list a few.

To this day, the Blade films are STILL heavily revered and loved. Some fans feel as attached to these films as others do to the MCU ones. Blade is on the Avengers currently anyway and the fact he isn’t well known after so long is kind of a travesty.

With a badassery that could humble Tony Stark’s and a cool factor that is STILL UNRIVALED TO THIS DAY, Blade should easily make the cut!

But what about the flashy stuff?

Plenty of games offer skins for players and fan service, Star Wars Battlefront 2, Smash Bros. Ultimate, Injustice II and plenty others. Marvel is no stranger either with Marvel’s Spider-Man being their most recent junction.

So, why stop now!?

KILLMONGER.

KILLMONGER – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Assuming they go the Injustice II route where you have another cast member to do their lines, Killmonger in for Black Panther is a NO BRAINER! He’s easily the MCU’s best villain – YES, EVEN OVER THANOS – and the king we deserve.

NICK FURY.

NICK FURY – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Replacing Black Widow is more of a personal favor because we don’t know Jack or Ish about Nick Fury. “He’s THE spy”, says Iron Man but we don’t see much action coming from him on screen save for one moment in the original Avengers film.

Replacing Natasha with Nick wouldn’t disrespect her character any less than Endgame did [BOOM GOTEM] and gives us a chance to actually see WHY he’s THAT dude. Heck, I’d see this coming with one eye closed.

U.S. AGENT.

U.S. AGENT – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

It’s not a hard concept and not even original as they let you do this in the original Marvel Vs. Capcom, but having Walker replace Rogers would be AWESOME.

It’s a simple swap, a bit gritter “Cap”, one and done. Kiiiinda too easy, but, hey, anyone can wield the shield, right?

ROGUE.

ROGUE – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

So, bit of trivia, but Rogue…ain’t like how she is in the X-Men films. No. Homegirl is a POWERHOUSE and she got that way after holding onto Carol Danvers [aka Captain Marvel] a bit too long and absorbed some powers permanently.

Using this, you can easily swap out a skin for Carol and give it to Rogue, should the X-Men not make the cut. If something is missing, Rogue is easily the right touch.

MILES MORALES.

MILES MORALES / SPIDER-MAN – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Okay, so, I was gonna be a hater and say don’t touch Miles until he gets his own solo game, but seeing as Spider-Man alone is a Playstation exclusive, adding him as a skin for Peter WITH the hype he’s gotten from his film, it’s an idea that always stuck to me.

It’s shocking how it was withheld in the PS4 game, but was a sneaky way to set up for Miles to pop out and take the limelight.

[DISCUSSION:]

What do you think, class?

Who do you want in the game?

Which skin are you excited for?

Leave a comment below and let me see what you have to say.

Well, that’s all for now. So, until Marvel and DC crossover in a game or Marvel and DC crossover…ever again, I’ll see you for the next lesson.

CLASS DISMISSED!

WHY POKÉMON IS THE BEST ANIME – EVER!

“WHY doesn’t Ash age?”

The answer is quite simple…

Hey and Welcome to the next Lesson.

LESSON 48: WHY POKÉMON IS THE MOST RELEVANT ANIME – EVER! – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

POKÉMON: NEVER TOO LATE

            -by Nintendo, Game Freak & The Pokémon company

Whether you’re a fan or not, you can’t deny the long-lasting popularity of Pokémon.

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Since its debut in 1997, Pokémon has seen video games, action figures, plushies, manga, a mobile app and pretty much anything you can think of.

If I watched an episode of today’s season, chances are I wouldn’t know what’s going on, but still oddly feel at home.

See, Pokémon, unlike other properties reviving old works to cash in on nostalgia, never stopped. Since its debut, it’s been ongoing and shows no signs of slowing down.

What gets me is that, unlike the Simpsons, no one wants it to end.

WHY?

It can’t be lack of quality. That undoubtedly isn’t the same as when it started.

In the 90’s, we went on a journey with Ash learning about bravery [Ash facing the swarm of Spearows]

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED – https://bit.ly/2BoEu4T

Prejudices [Misty hurting Caterpie’s feelings because of him being a bug]

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Saying goodbye is a part of growing up [letting Butterfree go with his kind]

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Drug abuse [Pikachu denying a Thunderstone (steroids) to win a competition]

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& Sportsmanship [supporting his friend Richie after losing in the Pokémon League].

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Nowadays? Not so much.

In a recent run, Pokémon Sun & Moon: Ultra Legends, Ash has no journey to go on. Not literally. He lives in a new region with his mother and goes to school everyday. (What’s weird is that he’s still living with her but she’s barely in the show vs him traveling the world and leaving her behind.)

Question is, why is Pokemon still cherished but the Simpsons gets dragged through the mud? Oddly enough, I think it has to do with staying the same and changing.

Let me explain.

Pokémon is a fantasy anime, of sorts. Its setting, the Pokémon world, is only exposed in regions/seasons. Each season can be a new region which opens the door for new Pokémon, stories and characters.

The main character will always be Ash Ketchum and the formula will still be catching and battling Pokémon, but it never gets stale due to the provided variety.

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Not to mention Ash doesn’t age so with every new season, he stays young and learns something new along with the new fans.

Simpsons…just doesn’t hold up as a sitcom cartoon when the writing doesn’t hold up like it used to. When it debuted, it was considered edgy and pushing certain envelopes at a much more conservative time. Thing about that is you can only rely on shock value for so long before it wears out its welcome.

Pokémon doesn’t have to worry about that.

While, yes, the formula for Pokémon won’t change, the story does in all the best ways. With the worldwide following it has, it only means it’s here to stay for better or worse and I think I know how.

It’s Ash.

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It’s a meme at this point but Ash doesn’t age. Yeah, 10-year-old boy has been on the air for 20 years and hasn’t aged a day. I have my own ups and downs with this, but it does have its perks.

Former co-publisher of DC Comics, Dan DiDio, is notorious for this sentiment, young wards taking their hero’s mantle saying the following:

“With [original Robin] Dick Grayson — […] — people loved them because they aged with them, so they feel this affinity that these guys have grown up with them. The problem is that much like Batman and Superman, now Dick Grayson and Wally West have to stop aging, because they’re going to pass their mentors. […] Therefore, those things constantly force the reboots that we’re faced with, because it creates these log jams and these multiple interpretations of characters all sharing the same name.”

[ Provided by COMICSPIThttps://bit.ly/2E3xyee ]

It’s no secret he wasn’t a fan of legacy characters; luckily, Ash isn’t a legacy character but creates his own legacy.

And there, students, is today’s lesson.

[LESSON]

Pokémon’s success cannot be understated. In its 20+ year run, it manages to change and grow with the times and not lose its identity while doing so. That, no doubt, has to be because of Ash Ketchum.

He’s the character we live vicariously through and there’s no better person to be. Ash never ages. There are countless YouTubers dissecting his age to come up with their own answers, but the one question I seldom see answered is :

“WHY doesn’t Ash age?”

The answer is quite simple; it’s because we’re not supposed to, either.

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Growth comes in many ways and with growth inevitably comes negativity. You have more obligations and responsibilities and you grow and along the way things have to be left behind.

Maybe it’s you.

Maybe, with today’s climate, you’ve had to sacrifice your dreams or career. Maybe there’s been a shift at home and now you’re the breadwinner.

Whatever your case is I wish you well. Know that the road ahead will be long but the good that will come out of this will be worth every second.

Perhaps you’ve seen this before:

– At age 24, Stephen King was working as a janitor and living in a trailer.

– At age 28, J.K. Rowling was a suicidal single parent living on welfare.

– At age 30, Harrison Ford was a carpenter.

– At age 37, Ang Lee was a stay-at-home-dad working odd jobs.

– Stan Lee didn’t release his first big comic book until he was 38.

– Samuel L. Jackson didn’t get his first movie role until he was 41.

– Morgan Freeman landed his first MAJOR movie role at age 52.

[ Courtesy of Chief Irvine‘s post : https://bit.ly/39iBtj2 ]

What I’d like to add is this:

Ash Ketchum didn’t win a Pokémon League for 20 years.

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Ash’s not aging is speaking to our inner child, our innocence that’s never completely gone – saying to us, it’s never too late.

As a fan of the original Pokémon, knowing Ash finally did brought a smile to my face that I never imagined would.

I stopped watching Pokémon years ago, but knowing my pal Ash finally made it was like seeing an old classmate finally earn their doctorate.

Ash has a mindset of never giving up and if we apply that to our lives, all of our dreams are undoubtedly in our reach and no matter how bad things seem, remember you can CATCH EM ALL!

[DISCUSSION:]

What do you think, class?

What’s your favorite Pokémon?

Which season did you start on?

Leave a comment below and let me see what you have to say.

Well, that’s all for now. So, until Red and Ash battle or we get a Pokémon game on the Playstation, I’ll see you for the next lesson.

CLASS DISMISSED!

WHY LUKE’S GREEN LIGHTSABER MATTERS

Hey and Welcome to the next Lesson.

LESSON 47: WHY LUKE’S GREEN LIGHTSABER MATTERS – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

LUKE’S LIGHTSABER: MOMENT OF CHANGE

            -by Lucasfilm

The Star Wars Sequel Trilogy made quite a few changes in storytelling than what we’re used to. Some good, some bad, some straight up questionable, but the one thing that catches my attention is Luke’s lightsaber.

Not the first one, Anakin’s.

Luke’s. His second one.

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Admittedly, this always made me scratch my head because, instead of using this one, The Force Awakens makes his first one reappear with no explanation. Not a single one.

Yes, there’s additional information to look up and research, but the point is you shouldn’t have to do homework to make a script make sense.

What makes matters worse is that when Rey returns it to Luke he doesn’t even say anything about it. He’s not even surprised to be holding the same weapon he hadn’t seen since…well, he lost it, in more ways than one.

It’s like it doesn’t matter.

Had they used the green one, it would’ve held more weight to the moment Luke tosses it.

Imagine Luke feeling shame for so long with how he felt compelled to kill his own nephew and then years later, some random girl comes back to hand you the weapon you used to do it…

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That small adjustment would’ve added more cohesion to an already dramatic story for Luke.

I think what’s the biggest mistake is to not use it and miss the message of him making his own in the first place.

Let me explain.

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Luke having to make his own lightsaber shows growth, he becomes his own Jedi and moves forward with his training.

In the face of adversity and loss, he’s able to construct a new lightsaber and confront the biggest darkness within himself and the galaxy at large.

It’s more than just a color; it’s a symbol.

Another thing I noticed was the design. It’s strikingly similar to Obi-Wan’s, his former mentor’s which bears even more weight which I’ll get to a little later.

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The sequel trilogy reusing the old one simply boils down to a central theme/problem that fans have with JJ’s films: not enough change. The Force Awakens speaks for itself and the Rise of Skywalker isn’t much better in these instances.

The truth is using the blue one creates more problems than necessary across all three films.

The Force Awakens offers no explanation for its reappearance, the Last Jedi Luke doesn’t even use a lightsaber so there’s literally nothing stopping Rey using it and the Rise of Skywalker just adds more contrivances.

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At the end of the Last Jedi, the lightsaber is broken in two, which would make perfect sense for her to use Luke’s green one, but…no. They just slap some duct tape on it and call it a day.

It’s like the film was actively trying to not move on and grow like Luke did.

Add on to the fact that Leia, out of nowhere, was a Jedi and had her own lightsaber. We saw her use the Force in the Last Jedi so it’s not impossible, but, again, they didn’t have to do this because they already had another lightsaber.

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So, okay, let’s just say they roll with the original blue one because, in one way in particular, it could have worked really well.

Picture this: Kylo denounces the dark side and becomes Ben Solo once again and meets up with Rey on Exegol to fight Palpatine.

When they stand side-by-side, instead of two lightsabers [one of them completely random], Rey and Ben activate both Luke’s lightsabers.

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Blue and green – both symbolizing when Luke conquered his darkness and Vader redeemed himself and became Anakin once again.

It would give credence to Ben proclaiming how, in the Force Awakens, he said,

“That lightsaber… it belongs to me.”

He ultimately fulfills that arc of wanting to be Vader, but changes like Vader did and inherits ANAKIN’s Lightsaber, and not Vader’s darkness.

Lastly, it would perfectly connect the prequels to the sequels in a subtle way.

Using Luke’s lightsaber [which looks like Obi-Wan’s, as mentioned before] and using Anakin’s old one TOGETHER would be the last time we see them together since their fight on Mustafar.

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Their last fight tore them apart, this one would UNITE them.

With the sequel trilogy having come to an end, it’s safe to say we won’t be seeing this storyline continued any time soon, but there is a silver lining.

Rey buried Anakin’s lightsaber, not Luke’s. It’s still out there somewhere and perhaps one day will return with A NEW HOPE.

[DISCUSSION:]

What do you think, class?

Did I miss anything?

Am I way off?

Leave a comment below and let me see what you have to say.

Well, that’s all for now. So, until we get more canon for Rey in novels or Disney lets us have a Star Wars Multiverse [BRING BACK THE SOLO KIDS], I’ll see you for the next lesson.

CLASS DISMISSED!

5 REASONS WHY INSOMNIAC’S SPIDER-MAN IS ARKHAM KNIGHT’S REBOOT

In light of the recently passed National Video Game Day, I wanted to compare which game was the better amongst them, but the more I played [to get the joyous experience of the Last of Us Pt. II out of my head] the more I realized…they’re, while still retaining their own identities, actually the same game.

Hey and Welcome to the next Lesson.

LESSON 46: WHY INSOMNIAC’S SPIDER-MAN IS ARKHAM KNIGHT’S REBOOT

MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN & BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT

            -by Insomniac Studios & Rocksteady Studios

SPOILER ALERT FOR BOTH!

You ever notice how similar Batman and Spider-Man are? Sure, there are the obvious: rogues gallery, cat-themed love interests, massive film, TV and comic followings but what I mean is a little bit deeper.

Travis Smith writes in his novel, Superhero Ethics:

“Spider-Man gives us a larger-than-life metaphor for the struggle to live like a decent person, day in, day out, in a permanently screwed-up world. Batman presents us with a different perspective, one that suggests we must endeavor, constantly, to shape the world around us and bend it to our will.”

“SUPERHERO ETHICS” – TRAVIS SMITH — ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Both are strong stances on their heroic responsibilities, and as bold as they are, there’s another quote that really stuck to me:

“Iron Man […] is a superhero because he can be; Batman and Spider-Man are superheroes because they must be.”

The more I thought about it, the more similarities began to arise – especially in their latest, solo video games: Spider-Man (2018) & Batman: Arkham Knight (2015).

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In light of the recently passed National Video Game Day, I wanted to compare which game was the better amongst them, but the more I played [to get the joyous experience of the Last of Us Pt. II out of my head] the more I realized…they’re, while still retaining their own identities, actually the same game.

So, strap on your webshooters and underoos and let’s solve this mystery together.

#1. – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

At the start of both games, our heroes see their work has stepped up its game and they, too, must rise to the occasion. Batman gets his armored suit and Spider-Man gets his newer look.

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Both are stylish and even have tech stats added to them to give them credence in game, not just a new look for gameplay.

Both are upgraded and have countless more suits/skins harkening to their long line of continuity in comics and in film.

#2. PARTNERS – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I could get very specific and say our heroes have redheaded, female partners in their crusade, both able to do things our protagonists can’t, but I think a better comparison would be Robin/Tim Drake and Miles.

Both our heroes have understudies, in some form or another. Batman has his entire Batfamily [kinda] and Peter helps Miles develop his abilities.

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Even in gameplay, both when we can control our respective partners for a time, it’s sneaking around and doing things in stealth missions.

EVEN OUR CAT-THEMED LOVE INTEREST CHARACTERS have side missions where our hero has to help them do something against their own free will.

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With Batman, he has to help Catwoman escape Riddler’s traps. With Spider-Man, it’s helping Black Cat because Hammerhead has her son.

This one can’t be coincidence.

#3. TOXINS & VILLAINS – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Ever since Arkham Asylum (2009), a staple in the Batman franchise were the trippy, psychedelic episodes Batman had to endure while under Scarecrow’s toxins.

In Arkham Knight, he takes that to a whole new level and dares to effect the entire city of Gotham.

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While…not particularly a fear toxin of sorts, Spider-Man has to deal with Doctor Octopus who unleashes the Devil’s Breath in Times Square and causes an all-out panic against the police (also not unlike Batman’s stand off to protect the GCPD in his game).

Hell, even in both games, the main villain recruits others in the rogues gallery to team up in attempts to take out the city’s protector, testing our protagonists in ways they never have been before.

#4. MAIN VILLAIN – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This is where the spoilers are gonna start and get pretty heavy so, last chance, SPOILER ALERT.

For Batman, the titular villain, the Arkham Knight, turns out to not be a new villain but an old ally, former Robin, Jason Todd.

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Like most creative liberties taken in the Arkham Universe, Jason Todd was tortured by the Joker, but wasn’t killed. Unlike the comics, Jason wasn’t blown up. His mother wasn’t even a part of it.

Rather than his end being swift, Joker kept Jason alive and tortured him for an entire year.

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Psychological torture, physical torture, mental torture – nothing was off the table. Joker even branded him with a J on his cheek to forever torment Jason and break him into thinking he was the Joker’s then, not Batman’s ally.

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Meeting him face to face was a tragedy met in gameplay as Batman was forced to face his greatest failure and Jason driven to kill his mentor who left him for dead and felt abandoned.

For Spider-Man, the opposite happens.

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Throughout the game, Peter works with Otto Octavius to make prosthetic arms to help amputee’s. As you go along, you can feel Peter’s fondness for Otto as a mentor/idol-like figure so, when he goes too far, you are forced to see how devastated Peter was.

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Both games have CLIMATIC battles, but Spider-Man’s is far more emotional. His mask breaks, he gets roughed up, he reveals himself and Peter TALKS to Otto, not Spider-Man to Doc Ock.

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In tears, Peter is deeply conflicted at how low his hero fell and how conflicted he was with having to do the right thing.

Both have tear-jerking moments and their main villains couldn’t possibly hit any closer to home.

#5. SACRIFICE – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The last point I’m going to make here is the ending to both games.

Starting with Spider-Man, the Devil’s Breath toxin affected a great deal of people in New York and Peter had the only known cure.

It was a small amount, but it was enough to be recreated and mass-produced to be delivered on a scale big enough for those infected to receive the cure.

But, sadly, not for everyone.

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Aunt May is one of those infected by the gas. The toxins are weighing heavily on her body and Peter visits her on her soon-to-be deathbed.

The look of pain on his face just screams how conflicted he is.

On one hand, he has enough of the cure to heal Aunt May and save her from her agony…but to do that, every single member of New York that was infected would meet the same fate.

It’s an impossible decision and easily one of the best moments for Peter to strive through and overcome.

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In spite of what he really wants, May insists he takes the cure and give it to everyone else, telling him just how proud of him she was and the man he came to be.

And Ben would be, too.

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This moment, as he crumbles, crying to Aunt May as she takes her last breath, is the truest embodiment of “With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility”.

Batman his own trials to overcome.

In the end, Scarecrow wins.

Batman is at his mercy and unmasks himself to show the whole world that it is Bruce Wayne under the cowl. His secret is out, he, and all of his friends and family are no longer protected by his anonymity.

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Bruce Wayne can no longer be Batman.

But Gotham would always need her protector.

Knowing what must be done, Bruce enacts Knightfall Protocol. There’s nothing heroic about this, unlike all other times he’s had contingencies for his enemies.

Bruce, solemnly walks away to the Wayne Manor and is greeted by Alfred upon his arrival.

His words are strong, but low – not allowing any part of this decision to falter, he says,

“I’ve got to. It’s the only way to protect them.”

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And, as Vicki Vale reports live, the Wayne Manor explodes and is engulfed in flames in seconds. We, the player, watch as everything we’d built up for Batman in the previous two games and the trials of this one, falls.

Then we’re greeted to a burning Batman symbol and the very same words that Jim Gordon started the game with.

“This is how it happened… This is how the Batman died.”

And, that’s it.

We don’t get a Christopher Nolan “The Dark Knight Rises” ending where Bruce fakes his death. We don’t get a Zack Snyder “Batman V Superman” ending where hope still arises in death.

Bruce doesn’t return. He’s gone.

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But, in Gotham’s darkest, most vulnerable hours, we get an ominous, demon-like appiration. In the shape of a bat reminding us that, whenever there is a call for it, the Dark Knight would Return.

[DISCUSSION:]

What do you think, class?

Did I miss any parallels?

Which game do you like more?

Leave a comment below and let me see what you have to say.

Well, that’s all for now. So, until we get a Batman/Spider-Man crossover or either hero saves us from the year of 2020, I’ll see you for the next lesson.

CLASS DISMISSED!

HOVERGIRLS REMINDS US IT’S OKAY TO BE HAPPY

Hey and Welcome to the next Lesson.

LESSON 45: HOVER GIRLS – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

HOVERGIRLS

            -by Geneva Bowers

Quick thank you to @mcapriglioneart for recommending me this title.

Small confession time: I took roughly 3 weeks off of blogging due to, well, life events. The news gets worse and worse each day, depression kicked me in the shin, and overall lethargy held me hostage for a point. Even The Last of Us Pt. II wasn’t enough for me to kick the habit.

In spite of all that, I eventually just told myself to get into gear and opened up Hovergirls and I’m GLAD I did.

From the very start, you’re treated to an art style that feels reminiscent of a fusion of chalk and paint brushes. There’s no dialogue, no caption boxes, no exposition – the page speaks for itself.

“HOVERGIRLS” – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

It reminds me of Chinese art with the tentacles of the jelly fish looking like ribbons as they’re used in Chinese festivities.

Better yet, more recently, it reminds me of a Legend of Korra episode in its second season: The Beginnings.

LEGEND OF KORRA – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Both parts have a specific art style, but the shot I’m referring to is this:

LEGEND OF KORRA – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Everything from dust rustling, air moving to fire scorching has its own particular style. It harkens back to Chinese art and I can’t get enough of it.

However you do it, gdbee, KEEP IT UP!

We soon meet our protagonists, Kimmonique “Kim” and Jalissa, and just the way they carry themselves is relatable and just amount of happy-go-lucky business you’d see in a buddy-cop movie.

All you need to see is this one pic –

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As an up-and-coming blogger/photoshop enthusiast, I don’t think I’ve related to anything as hard I do with this particular panel and that’s my point –

THE DETAIL IS FIRE!


When you have an art style, especially one that doesn’t emphasize pencil strokes, details tend to be overlooked. It isn’t taken seriously/seriously enough, but you can tell bdgee loves their craft and takes great attention to each panel.

For instance:

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Look at this panel. It’s just a hand, right? Well, if you look closely, the energy she gets hit with, allowing her to gain her powers, forms in her palm as she starts to conjure her construct. It even spills out over her hands when she makes more.

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It reminds me of Jamal Campbell’s art in Far Sector. Not only is it a protagonist, Lantern, of color, but the sheer smoothness of his work borders on CGI.

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Bdgee matches this, subtly, in stride.

To continue, not only are we greeted to genuine, fun art but the story is peppered with enough depth and, personally speaking, lessons, to take to the bank.

When a swarm of…evil-light-fish threaten our heroes and all seems lost as not even Jalissa’s bat would be enough to stop them. Knowing this, she gives her version of a pep-talk.

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While Kim does give off the somewhat superficial vibe and Jalissa can’t be bothered with, well, anything, she really DOES care about her friend and, together, they’re able to pull off some amazing feats.

And there, students, is today’s lesson.

[LESSON]

I feel like with today’s news and constant updating of the country’s… “changes”, you’re only left with one of two options:

You either die a Kim or live long enough to see yourself become a Jalissa. I think I find myself where in the middle.

HOVERGIRLS – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Jalissa is a neutral, semi-pessimistic form I tend to take on when life refuses to give me a break. News is hardly positive and it’s pretty easy to fall into negativity, if left unchecked.

Kim, though, is pretty bubbly and, like myself, seeks recognition for her work. It may be a bit excessive, but everyone’s been there before: wanting to be recognized for our efforts and to have acknowledgement because of it.

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It can be tough, strictly perusing a talent in a hobby and possibly earn income from it. It can be really discouraging and all too easy to give up, but, in the words of J. Cole, there’s beauty in the struggle.

Every person I’ve covered has had their ups and downs and still created something great with their talents.

It’s easy to look for dark and depressing stories to relate to, but also, even in the midst of everything going on, don’t forget to take time and make things for yourself to be happy.

It’s okay.

It’s okay to be happy even when the world doesn’t want you to be.

It’s okay to be happy when you feel you don’t deserve it.

It’s okay to be happy.

IT IS OKAY.

Hovergirls doesn’t have broody protagonist riddled with angst. It doesn’t have a save-the-world plot. It doesn’t have sharp angles to emphasize drama.

Hovergirls doesn’t need it.

It’s great as it is and so are you!

So, remember, if you’re looking to soar one day, remember to always shoot for the stars, but know before you can fly, you have to HOVER.

[PLEASE SUPPORT]

Comics here: https://bit.ly/2YFu6P6

Official Sites: https://hovergirls.com , https://linktr.ee/gdbee , https://gdbee.store , https://bit.ly/2CRaaQR

Official Twitter: @gdbeeart

Instagram: @gdbee

Well, that’s all for now. So, until Marvel and DC cross over again or Spider-Man appears in that Avengers game, I’ll see you for the next lesson.

CLASS DISMISSED!