Megaman the Comic Review

This is a very short comic with only 4 pages so there isn’t much to say but I’ll quickly run you through what goes on here. It’s a classic origin story for Megaman as we see Dr. Light turn him into a fighting machine. The comic starts with them seeing on the news that many robots have been going crazy. Megaman is determined to put this right and quickly because he’s just a nice guy. Light figures that the only way this will work is to give Megaman a transformation from a peaceful robot into a combat one. The procedure is apparently quite painful and even seems to turn Megaman’s hair white (Although that could just be the electricity). Megaman has now been born and is ready to take down evil!

That’s about it. There’s only so much you can really do in a short amount of time like that. I appreciate seeing a look at Megaman’s origin but I absolutely think this should have been a few pages longer so we could have seen some action. Maybe have Megaman go up against a squad of powerful villains or something like that even if they’re just minions. It would put a nice cap on the adventure and really give you hope that Megaman could save us all. If you do that, then the adventure immediately becomes a lot more memorable and hype.

At least you can quickly get a feel for all of the characters’ personalities. Roll is shown to be very cautious so naturally she gets worried when Megaman decides to embark on this adventure. He may not make it back alive after all. You have Dr. Light who halfheartedly protests but has the equipment on hand so he turns Megaman into the hero right away. It didn’t feel like he was as reluctant as you’d expect. The danger was rapidly taking out the town so he made the hard calls here.

Finally you’ve got Megaman who will be taking all of the actual risks. He did well to volunteer for such a dangerous role right away. You can sense his heroic spirit here and it’s easy to see how he would end up becoming the ultimate champion of Earth. He was willing to take all of the risks and never looked back. Ultimately he would lead the land to an era of peace.

The art is good here. The character proportions are all right and it’s easy to follow along with what’s happening. The colors are vibrant and so I had no issues on that front. The writing/dialogue is also good so the comic really made the most of its 4 pages. It would work well as the pilot to a true ongoing but I think you could also make the origin a lot longer and that would be cool. There’s a lot to explore there.

Overall, This was a very short review but at only 4 pages I would have to really stretch things out to talk about it longer. It’s a fun little comic and I would definitely check it out if you’ve got a minute to spare. I’m always glad to see Megaman content of any kind. It feels like the franchise just hasn’t gotten a whole lot of attention lately outside of X Dive with regards to new content so I’d like to see Capcom step up there. At least the fans are quite dedicated and keep translating so many of the older works though. It all helps to keep the brand alive.

Overall 5/10

Superman: Man of Tomorrow Review

This is really the Superman film I’ve been waiting for. Red Son had a very brief time as the best Superman film for me but I always had a feeling this one could rise to the top. Not only was it bringing in two of my favorite villains in Parasite and Lobo, but it just looked like a pretty good retro Superman story. It definitely has a solid old school feeling while still incorporating some modern elements. I could certainly see this being a modern reboot that could work to set up a solid universe. The origin story also goes pretty fast so we can focus on the more interesting part of his first days as Superman instead of him growing up.

The movie starts with Clark Kent covering a big rocket launch by Lex Luthor. He’s an intern and not quite a reporter yet but is ready to move on up. Right away he’s introduced as a nice guy who makes friends with the janitor and does his best to try and get a scoop without cutting corners. The launch doesn’t go well and Lois is able to prove Lex’s guilt so he is thrown into prison. This is their first meeting so now Clark has seen what the ultimate reporter can do. While the fame doesn’t go to Lois Lane’s head, she is definitely one of the more antagonistic characters in the film so she won’t be making friends anytime soon.

Clark still wants to leave a positive impression but he has other problems to worry about. A space bounty hunter by the name of Lobo has arrived and wants to take Superman down. He claims that Clark is a Kryptonian. Then you’ve also got a mysterious stranger who follows Clark around a lot and even heads to his home in Smallville. Finally, you have the Parasite, a being of incredible power who may very well destroy this entire planet. Superman will have to stop these foes while also establishing himself as a hero for peace and not someone who needs to be feared.

There’s just a lot to like here right from the start. For starters it was nice to see more of Clark Kent. It seems like there isn’t often a lot of time to see the human side for Superman outside of fighting crime so that is always fun. I also like that this is a version of Clark where he is a top notch reporter and this is getting set up by the end of the film. He is ready to one up Lois when needed and he also visits Smallville pretty often. As he mentioned, it’s just a 10 minute trip for him (And that’s probably a cautious estimate) so he can really go and hang out at any time. The Kents also look good and these scenes really help develop the characters.

Then you have the Superman scenes which are a blast of course. I would say the stand out fight is the first battle with Superman and Lobo. While the animation may not be quite as colorful as the mainline DC films from the 52 era, the smooth animation does help with showing a lot of great choreography the whole time. There’s a lot of good back and forth with each character getting some good hits in but I would say it’s clear that Lobo has the edge here. Superman is still growing into his powers of course so he isn’t quite as powerful as he would usually be in later years of his career.

Admittedly when the final boss went the route of going for a giant monster as the final boss I did have to shake my head a bit. It seems like the ole giant enemy approach is inevitable nowadays but you just can’t get any great choreography out of that. Outside of Fate Grand Order where you could really feel the immense impact of the big enemy that the show was going for, I wouldn’t say it tends to be all that impressive. You can have multiple giant foes fighting each other but someone like Superman going up against a giant monster? I don’t think that’ll work out.

Still, it was less about the fight and more about showing off how Superman can use peace to solve some of his fights so that was handled pretty well. It was also a chance to get everyone involved in the fight. I would say Lobo seemed a little nerfed in this one since I think he could have done a lot better but you can’t win every fight right? I half expected Lex to put on his suit but I suppose it might be too early to bring that one out. As it stands, he is definitely not someone you can trust at all here. He is very quick to blast you in the back. It’s not really his most impressive appearance but he’s never all that worried so you feel like he’s got some other plans in the works.

For Lois, as I mentioned she is definitely very tough on everyone here, but she is a fun character. Her power moves were definitely fun and she has an air of absolute confidence about her. She may have lost this final round against Superman but I’m sure she won’t give up. She is always ready to go into dangerous situations to get the scoop after all. I’m sure she and Clark will have a good rivalry going forward if he starts trying to take all the bylines like in the DCAU.

Lobo of course is a fun wild card character to have around. I definitely was not expecting any kind of team up with him so that was pretty intense. He’s one of those characters who really tends to overwhelm the screen while he’s appearing so you never forget the guy. Then you have the stranger who was following Superman around. That guy was definitely a pretty intense figure. I liked how it gave the film an extra element of being a mystery or part thriller. His fight in the night and showing up at the Kent’s place was intense. I do think Superman should have been a little quicker to break things up to be honest but he still did make it before things got too tricky so that’s the important thing.

The film does like its fake outs with death though. Two different characters seemingly die only to return later on. I admit that while I didn’t buy the second one for a minute, the first would have been interesting. I can see why they wouldn’t let it stick since that would start Superman’s career off on a rather depressing note and he might not be able to be quite as cheerful after that. It does work as a dramatic moment though even if you feel like Superman should have stepped in with someone being murdered right in front of him. No matter how weak he was feeling, that’s the time to dash in.

Overall, Superman: Man of Tomorrow is a great way to bring Superman back into the spotlight. It’s a good origin story that introduces him as a great hero who will certainly do a good job. He’s very likable and now even has a bit of a supporting cast for when we start the Justice League saga. Batman was also set up so it may be time for another Batman vs Superman adventure soon. That would definitely be fun. If you haven’t seen this film yet, then you should definitely do so. It really encompasses what a complete Superman film is expected to be. You have Clark digging up clues on his end, Superman saving the day sometimes with power and other times with deductive reasoning. There’s a lot going on here so the whole time you’re just hoping the film can keep on going. If a whole continuity does come out of this film, I look forward to seeing Superman return and have more adventures. There’s always a ton of potential with a fresh slate.

Overall 8/10

Rurouni Kenshin Secret Chapter To Rule Flame Review

All right, it is time to check out the prequel manga that came out for Kenshin a while back thanks to Mangastream’s hard work as they even translated the cover! This volume is about Shishio, the fan favorite villain who did end up being one of the better Kenshin antagonists. It’s a fairly good volume. We don’t get to see the heroes almost at all, which is a little unfortunate, but it’s good to have the universe back. I’m still not done with the original series myself, but I’m in the final volumes. Keep in mind that this review will have spoilers for the volume since it’s so short and hard to avoid such things.

Well, it’s an origin story so Shishio is naturally one of the main characters. He heads into a town with his right hand man and he awaits the rest of his 10 swords. It is almost time to make his big move so now he simply needs to bide his time. He stays at an inn where the hostess is legendarily tough to buy. Either way, Shishio doesn’t care for such things, but then the lady decides to buy his strength to save her friends. Shishio will need some kind of payment for this and the lady will have to think of something.

Well, the story definitely deals with some things that you don’t see all that often (For good reason) in a manga. The main heroine is actually a prostitute although she has essentially decided to stop in that practice as she allows no one to buy her anymore. Alas, in this time, women had fewer rights so a rich person decides to buy her anyway. The lady resigns herself to this fate, but her friends mistakenly find out about the rich guy’s evil plans so he decides to destroy them all. That is why the heroine has to ask Shishio for help. Shishio is reluctant, but she helps him realize that dying alone is not a happy fate so he accepts her help on the condition that her life is now his. When Shishio is about to die, he will destroy her as well. These are satisfactory conditions for the heroine and that’s essentially the origin of Shishio.

Luckily, the manga doesn’t put too much emphasis on the prostitution part. You know that it’s happening in the city, but we never see anything even close to that, which is certainly a smart move on the manga’s part. The ending is also a lot happier than I had figured although I suppose that it is in a morbid sort of way. Shishio acknowledges that he is ultimately going to hell, but he simply isn’t fighting it. He almost doesn’t care as he still wants to be evil and he will just bring as many people as he can with him. That certainly solidifies Shishio as a villain.

At least he is a cool villain though. He’s not one of those guys who will just make you wince and groan as you read the chapter. If this had been about a lesser villain or an insane one, then it would likely not have been nearly as good. As it stands, Shishio does ultimately help against the villains so that will make the story a lot more bearable. After all, if you’re teaming up with a villain who’s as skilled as Shishio, you should have nothing to worry about.

The villain for this story gets a lot of hype at first, but then it all fades away. I think the author just forgot about it or something because the actual battle is very anticlimactic. It’s essentially over in a slash, which is sad. Based off of the imagination battle that they had earlier, I would have expected a very good fight. The Kenshin series had plenty of excellent fights so another one would have been a lot of fun. I suppose that fighting was not the main draw for this spinoff, but it still would have been a lot of fun.

The artwork is solid as can be expected. The original series had some of the best art in Jump and evidently, that has not changed in the years that have went by. It’s easy to see what’s going on and the characters all look good. The brief action scenes that we do get are very impressive and make you miss the lack of action even more. Alas, you can’t have it all right?

The volume also does a good job of getting you interested in watching the main series again. It’s an interesting story from start to finish and we even have a big group moment where all of the villains get to use their big attacks. They certainly were an impressive group and it’s good that Kenshin had so many skilled allies or this would have been a very difficult fight to win. In the final page, we get to quickly see a little of Kenshin’s fight against Shishio, but that’s more of a homage than anything else.

The villain from the final arc of the Kenshin series also gets a cameo. He tries to talk tough, but we all know that he would be crushed if he ever tried to fight Shishio. Shishio is simply too powerful for him and the other villain only lasted so long because of trickery and his many minions. Shishio doesn’t need any tricks to fight well.

So, the story is a little dark, but it’s handled well. The only negative could actually be the prostitution part of the plot as it is a little much when you actually think about it. The main characters were nearly sold away after all, but at least most of them get a happy ending or a sudden sad one so things went well. The villains were also permanently stopped so that wins the manga back its points. I’d prefer that these things really aren’t even included as there’s not much of a reason to tackle these issues in an origin story, but it certainly could have been a lot worse.

Overall, This Secret Chapter was fun. It’s certainly great to be back in the Kenshin world and I wouldn’t mind more spinoffs in the future. A sequel series would also be a lot of fun with some new villains and more power ups to help the heroes rise up the tier list. If you read the main Kenshin series, then this is a must read. If you just want to read a one shot with a villain who helps out when it furthers his interests, it’ll also work out for you. The one shot is serious and deals with serious themes, but the ending is satisfying and the art is quite good. There’s a good reason why Kenshin is known as one of the elite manga titles and this one shot lives up to that reputation. I guess we’ll see if anymore one shots come out in the future.

Overall 7/10