Review for You: My Hero Academia Episodes 1-2

Hello, Everyone! I know I am a tad bit behind the times, but, I am finally caught up on My Hero Academia (MHA). MHA is a Shonen Jump manga, written and illustrated by Kohei Horikoshi. The manga was adapted into an anime by Studio Bones in 2016.
MHA revolves around the protagonist Izuku Midoriya (Deku), who dreams of becoming a superhero, in a world where 80% percent of the population is born with a superpower, otherwise known as, a Quirk. At the age of 4, doctors inform Deku and his mother that he does not have a Quirk and is unlikely to develop one. Deku does not let this fact deter him from wanting to become a hero and go to the prestigious U.A. High School for hero training and preparation. Deku is often bullied by his childhood friend/rival Katsuki Bakugo, who is born with the Quirk explosion, allowing Bakugo to generate flames and explosions. Bakugo often taunts Deku for being so weak and constantly reminds Deku that he will never become a hero.
Both boys dream of being a superhero and idolize the #1 hero All-Might. All-Might is the pinnacle of what a hero should be. All-Might is strong, fast, and a symbol of peace. He is the world’s greatest hero. One day, Deku is attacked by a slime villain, who can enter and take over its host. Deku, knows that he will die in moments, when, suddenly, All-Might appears and captures the villain, saving Deku’s life with a Texas Smash! Deku has so many questions for his hero, that when All-Might leaps off, Deku clings on to him, flying into the air. Deku asks All-Might if he can still be a hero without a Quirk and his response is not good news for Deku. All-Might explains that was seriously injured several years and can only work in his hero form for more than 3 hours a day. All-Might explains the danger of hero work and villains, suggesting to Deku that, perhaps, police work would be best for him.
Shortly after Deku and All-Might part ways, All-Might realizes the villain he has captured is no longer in his possession. The bottle, All-Might confined the villain in, had fallen out of his pocket and landed in the city. Bakugo kicks the bottle releasing the slime villain, who instantly subdues Bakugo, and tries to take over his body. Bakugo is not one to give up easily. He uses his explosive Quirk to attempt to free himself from the villain’s grasp. The surrounding flames capture the attention of the public, and importantly, nearby heroes. The heroes are unable to effectively engage with the villain, who has almost completely consumed Bakugo. Suddenly, Deku runs from the crowd and begins clawing at the slime villain, trying to save Bakugo. All-Might witnesses, this act of heroism and is revigorated. Although his body is worn out, All-Might assumes his hero form and lands a Detroit Smash on the slime villain, freeing Bakugo. All- Might admires Deku’s courageousness and offers him a gift beyond anything Deku could ever imagine, All Might’s Quirk, One-for-All.
MHA has been an amazing watch! Initially, I felt the show opened slowly, with not much going on. Continuing into the series, I gained a respect for how the series began, realizing that the first 2 episodes, set the entire stage of what MHA would represent. I have enjoyed watching Deku’s transformation from zero to hero, as he strives to control his newly obtained Quirk, One-for-All, which grants Deku all the strength of All-Might. Deku encounters powerful peers with extraordinary quirks, all striving to become heroes. The diverse cast offers viewers a variety of individuals to relate to, while still offering important character development points. Deku wants to not only prove that he deserved to inherit, One-for-All, he also wants to prove that he deserves that title, Hero.

The Daily Brew: Thoughts on MTG Arena

Thoughts on Magic the Gathering Arena

Magic the Gathering Arena (MTGA) is a new way to play the popular card game Magic the Gathering (MTG). Only in its beta stage, MTGA is already growing in popularity and proving to be an improvement over Magic the Gathering Online (MTGO). MTGA has several features that its predecessor does not include: interactive graphics, music, sound effects, auto-tap, timers, rewards, and for the most part, its free to play. I went into the game with a slight fear that I would be lousy at the controls, which proved to be very fluid and easy to control. MTGA gives the player several decks to start with. Getting so many cards at once, for free, is a casual MTG player’s dream! I tested out a few of these decks, and, unsurprisingly, they are mediocre, at best. I quickly went to brewing my own concoctions using each deck as a base and began seeing terrific results, especially with Red/Green Dinosaurs.

When I first logged into MTGA I was immediately impressed with the sounds and graphics. The music was compelling and the colors were vibrant. I was excited to see powerful creatures, planeswalkers, and sagas, rise out of their card with thrilling graphics and sounds. This feature adds a visually appealing aspect to the game and allows players to see their favorite spells come to life.

The daily challenges keep me motivated to venture into other colors and strategies. On most days, the challenge will play X number of X or X colored spells, play X number of creatures, attack with X number of creatures, or win X number of times, to achieve gold. The gold in the MTGA beta can be used to buy packs, enter Quick Constructed tournaments, enter Quick Draft events, and, sometimes, enter Flash events.

Currently, the only sets available on MTGA are Amonkhet, Hour of Devastation, Ixalan, Rivals of Ixalan, and Dominaria. For 1000 gold, a player may purchase a single pack from any of the sets listed. For 500 gold, a player may participate in a Quick Constructed tournament, using any of the constructed decks they own. The player seeks to achieve 7 wins before obtaining 3 loses. Each win earns the player gold and card rewards. Four wins earn 500 gold and card rewards to break even. Seven wins earn 1000 gold and card rewards, doubling the value.

The Quick Draft events have only occurred during the weekend hours, featuring 1 sets. It is 5000 gold to enter. Something unique to MTGA is that unlike traditional draft, where you share a card pool with other players, instead, the player drafts with the artificial intelligence of the game. Some members of the MTG community feel that this feature may be exploited, but I don’t believe I am the one to be able to crack the system! Like Quick Constructed, the player has to win 7 rounds before losing 3 times, using the cards they have obtained during the draft. I find this format to be incredibly fun, although, I must be willing to lose all the gold that I have earned during the week. The rewards for winning are great for the Quick Draft, allowing players to earn gems, which can be used to buy packs and enter tournaments.

The Flash Event is a 3-round event using a constructed deck to earn gold and card rewards. This event appears at random times and only for a short period. The Flash Event is 1000 gold, with 0-1 win yielding a Dominaria booster and 2 wins yielding 1 Dominaria Booster and 100-500 gold. Achieving 3 wins yields 1 Dominaria booster, 100-500 gold, a chance to get an additional Dominaria booster, and a chance to get the third booster.

Gold isn’t necessary to enjoy MTGA. For those who simply want to play casually, you can! The Play feature requires no gold and yields no gold (unless you are completing challenges). This section of the game is a great area to playtest, practice, complete challenges, and to just have some fun!

Overall, I am a HUGE fan of MTGA. Prior to gaining access to MTGA, I played MTGO regularly. Since obtaining access to MTGA beta I have not looked back. If I would have had a choice between MTGO and MTGA from the beginning, I definitely would have chosen MTGA. I feel that MTGA is a step in the right direction for MTGA regards to digital card gaming. It is public knowledge that Wizards of the Coast, the creators of MTG, want to attract a wider audience, especially, those who play an alternative digital card game, Hearthstone. MTGA makes MTG simple, it offers tips for better gameplay and is visually appealing. Wizards of the Coast may be hitting their mark!

 

 

The Daily Brew: Thoughts on Dominaria Pre-release

For those who do not know, I am a huge fan of the trading card game Magic the Gathering and this past weekend Wizard of the Coast released possibly their biggest set of the year, Dominaria! Filled with some of the most unique spells in one set that I have seen in recent years. My local game store was packed at the mid-night and even had to deny some late customers entry unless they had pre-ordered. Dominaria emphasizes the historic and kicker mechanics. A historic spell is any artifact, saga, or legendary spell. Throughout the set there many relevant interactions amongst the historic spells and it is important to keep in mind that all legendary spells are historic, but not all historic spells are legendary.

My two foil promos were less than impressive for sealed (Cabal Stronghold and Yargle), but my pool contained several sagas that I was ecstatic to showcase including Eldest Reborn, In Bolas’s Clutches, The Mending of Dominaria, and Fall of Thran.

Several times I gained an advantage by killing a solo threat on the board with Eldest Reborn, making my opponent discard a card, and being able to play their card against them. In Bolas’s Clutches was a card I was afraid to play at first, but that doubt quickly subsided when I snatched Muldrotha, the Gravetide, from an unsuspecting, driver’s seat opponent.  The Mending of Dominaria and Fall of Thran paired surprisinly well together, allowing me to cut my opponent from mana on their turn, then ramping heavy when The Mending of Dominaria hits, returning all my mana to the field.

Color fixing was easy with the use of Skittering Surveyor to tutor up necessary mana. I used Rona, Disciple of Gix to get back the Skittering Surveyor for more fixing if necessary. If not, Rona provided added card advantage and was able to get back key historic spells such as Thran Temporal Gateway, which is what made this sealed pool function. Thran Temporal Gateway allowed me to flash and cheat out my historic spells for the cost of four colorless mana at instant speed! I can see The Temporal Gateway seeing play in standard. This card is what made my 4-color jank, an incredibly fun and unpredictable threat.

I had a variety legendary spells at my disposal including Urgoros, the Empty One, Tatyova, Benthic Druid and Urza’s Ruinous Blast. Urgoros, the Empty One was evasive, making his discard/draw clause highly relevant if unanswered. Tatyova, Benthic Druid was rarely seen, but when she did, she made a splash! Urza’s Ruinous Blast came in handy during crucial points in the game, but it is highly specific. A legendary creature or planeswalker must be on the field to cast Urza’s Ruinous Blast, following its Legendary Sorcery status. I found it to be a dead card if my board state was empty.

Blue gave me access to counterspells, flyers, and card advantage. Syncopate performed amazingly, especially with its exile clause. Cloudreader Sphinx was great, being both evasive and offering card advantage. Blink of an Eye was a great multi-utility spell, allowing for aggressive attacks, emergency removal, and card advantage.

A notable mention is Blessing of Belzenlok, which would turn an already powerful swing, into an even more devastating nightmare. I mostly used Blessing of Belzenlok on Yargle for an incredible 11-point hit, but it was useful on every other creature I played it on as well.

I ended up going 3-1-2, which for me, is pretty good since I consider myself to be new to competitive Magic. I had a blast blowing up lands, stealing creatures, and countering some of my opponent’s most important plays. Dominaria will be THE set to draft if you have not been drafting. For standard players, Dominaria is a set where brewers can thrive, testing out all the interactions and trying to break the format. I, of course, shall be one of them!

Hopes and Heroes: Why I consider Star Wars a Superhero Movie

Everything about Star Wars screams superhero movie. This classic Sci-Fi franchise was developed in such a way that contains the core elements that define a “superhero” movie such as an action-packed universe that pits evil villains, bent on universal domination, against noble heroes, who are destined to bring balance to the Force. Star Wars is an immersive story with a unique background in comparison to what we believe to be a superhero movie today.

The George Lucas brainchild started off as original movies, then later was adapted and extended in various other forms of media such as comic books and novels. Stars Wars may not have roots in the comic book medium but it clearly has many elements of a traditional, superhero story. In fact, Star wars may have pioneered the success of superhero movies.

I consider Star Wars a superhero movie because it falls under the umbrella of what superhero movies are at heart. The Star Wars universe contains humans and numerous aliens dealing with the evil threat of The Dark Side. Jedi are considered the superheroes in this universe, due to their ability to utilize the Force, which is pure energy that connects all living material. Jedi use their seemingly psychic abilities, acrobatic prowess, and lightsabers (laser swords), to protect the citizens of the Republic from those who practice the dark side of the force, known as Dark Jedi or Sith.

When working on my previous article, “Zero to Hero: Superhero movies of 2017 ranked by gross domestic income”, I discovered that it was somewhat difficult to classify what to truly consider a superhero movie.

Typically, superheroes are primarily associated with individuals with superpowers who use their powers to save the public. Flying, super strength, and psychokinesis are just the tip of the iceberg in regards to known abilities of notable superheroes. A character having a superpower is a clear indication that you are dealing with a superhero story. But do you need superpowers to be a superhero? Of course not!

Batman and Iron Man clearly have no powers. Batman takes the route of being a costumed crimefighter with gadgets and ninja skills, while Iron Man uses his expertly designed, robotic, battle tuxedo to blow away foes and travel first class. Utilizing their intelligence and deep pockets, Wayne and Stark are able to fight toe-to-toe with some of the universe’s deadliest super villains.

Many superheroes are easily recognizable, as such, because they often originate within the comic book medium. Comic book universes are often expansive and contain heroes that share the same universe and ones who do not. These heroes and heroines are consistently making their way to the big screen, mixing in with action and sci-fi productions. Movies, such as Hancock, even show that superheroes are not required to originate in the comic book medium, having no comic related predecessor before its movie premiere.

So why should Star Wars miss inclusion into the superhero genre? At its heart, Star Wars is as much as a superhero movie as the Avengers and with the purchase of Star Wars and Marvel by Disney, we may see the two universes collide!

Zero to Hero: Superhero movies of 2017 ranked by gross domestic income (GDI)

Superhero films flew into theaters for fans frantic to see their favorite heroes and heroines on the big screen. Highly anticipated movies of classic caped crusaders and several casual contenders competed to cash in big bucks at the box office. Action packed, funny, and heartfelt, the yet to be clearly defined, superhero movie genre made several successful gains in 2017, exhibiting to viewers various methods of executing a superhero film. Yet, which superhero movie drew in the most domestic dollars? Here, I have 2017’s superhero movies ranked Zero to Hero.
#12 Captain Underpants

GDI: 73,921,000

What’s not to love about a goofy, middle-aged, principal, galavanting around town, hypnotized into believing he’s a superhero? Captain Underpants didn’t top the movie charts, but he made it to the big screen in all his underpants glory. Obviously, Captain Tighty-whities is a movie aimed at young children and adults nostalgic for their childhood potty-mouth humor, but Captain Underpants domestic earnings give it the rank of zero on the list.

#11 Power Rangers: The Movie

GDI: 85,364,450

Five teenagers with attitude teleported into theaters for the first time since 1995. Adapted for a new era of viewers, Power Rangers morphed into a darker, grittier film than many fans are not accustomed to. Our heroes have to combat Rita Repulsa and her Putty Man henchmen while dealing with day to day high school drama. Never-the-less, Power Ranger: The Movie had people go, go, going to the movie theater!

#10 Kingsman: The Golden Circle

GDI:100,199,005

A Kickass movie with a James Bond storyline? Brilliant! Kingsman: The Golden Circle elegantly combines want to be superheroes and super spies with a free pass to kill. If you’re a fan of the first installment you will love it all over again! Eggsy and his ragtag band of agents wrangled some moviegoers into theater seats in this wash, rinse, repeat sequel.

#9 Transformers: The Last Knight

GDI:130,168,683

“If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try, try again” -William Edward Hickson

The Transformers franchise continues to come up to bat with it’s most recent installment: The Last Knight. Giant, alien, combat ready, robots have the amazing ability to transform homebodies into movie goers.

#8 The LEGO Batman Movie

GDI:175,750,384

Product advertising gold. Depicting some of D.C.’s most notable heroes and villains in adorable LEGO form, The LEGO Batman Movie paid homage to everything that is Batman, while ensuring that children and adults alike will desire the toys to create their own epic adventures.

#7 Justice League: Dawn of Justice

GDI:223,960,455

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? Justice League: Dawn of Justice maintains its dark, Injustice-like, tone, despite a change in directors mid-production. Despite the hype, Justice League was unable to fight its way to the top of the list.

#6 Logan

GDI:226,277,068

Fox studios have been squeezing out every adamantium coated coin they can out of Logan a.k.a The Wolverine. This mutant franchise just will not die, and why should it? Logan has an uncanny ability to revive Hollywood’s pocketbooks.

#5 Thor: Ragnarok

GDI:310,074,134

Thor, God of Thunder and the radioactive Incredible Hulk 1v1? Yeah, that’ll fill a coliseums and movie theaters alike. Marvel does not mind taking risks when it comes to simplifying a deep, complex storyline, to add zeros to the payroll. Thor: Ragnarok summoned fans from all over the 9 realms.

#4 Spider-Man: Homecoming

GDI:334,201140

We wanted a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man and Marvel Studios delivered. Simple and fun, Spidey brings a lighthearted element to the web-slinger’s franchise. Distinct from its franchise predecessors, Spider-Man: Homecoming slung its way near the top of the list.

#3 Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume II

GDI:389,813,101

The first installment left fans yearning for more, as theaters were flooded to see the Guardians, again, on the big screen. Groot is adorable and most scenes are well done. Guardians of the Guardians: Volume II clearly earns its keep, so it definitely will not be eaten.

#2 Wonder Woman

GDI:412,563,408

Leaving her Dawn of Justice movie cohorts in her Amazon dust, Diana Prince lassoed moviegoers to into theaters. Wonder Woman shows us that D.C. can make a well-rounded movie, that is not based on Batman and Supes. I’m sure the executives will cash in on a sequel.

#1 Star Wars

GDI:517,144,228

The force is strong indeed! Currently still showing in theaters, Star Wars: The Last Jedi continues to pull in the Imperial credits, earning it the rank of Hero! Stormtrooper could not stop the rebellion from making their way to theaters all over the country.

Disclaimer: Some may wonder why some of the movies were included, feeling that it may not adhere to the common parameters of what a superhero movie is believed to be. Each movie was included because I believe they contain elements of what superheroes and their movies are at heart. Further discussion of what I believe to be a superhero will occur in future posts!

Thank you for reading!

I appreciate your time!

GDI retrieved from boxofficemojo.com

Emerging with Immersion

Hello, everyone! My name is Clinton C. and I am the founder of a startup known as Immersion Entertainment.

I.E.’s origins began in 2014 when I decided to begin developing an idea for a comic book. After 3 years of development, it is finally time to finish the script to my first graphic novel Woven: Threads of Humanity. Along the way, I have researched into various aspects of the industry and I have learned that there is way more involved in producing a comic book than I previously thought.

When I first began developing Woven, I was in my last semester as an undergraduate at the University of West Alabama. I was completing my degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. I have always wanted to write, but I put my creative writing on hold because I never seemed to be able to find time for it. What I realized is that it was not that I did not have the time, it was that I did not have the courage. I was skeptical about my writing because of doubts: Would people like it? Would they think that I am weird? Can I get published? These questions permeated my psyche and hindered my progress and expression.

One day while talking with a close friend, I decided to put aside my fears and begin. The idea started small – I wanted to present a world where individuals use chemicals to alter their genetic composition to obtain powers as well as individuals who use technology to alter their physical abilities. The idea quickly grew into a 9-part graphic novel series (Under construction). I decided the best route for my project is to self-publish. The internet has made this a viable option.

I am interested in the ideas and thoughts of other independent comic creators. The purpose of this blog is to share interviews with published independent comic creators as well as share reviews on comic related news and media.