by Ben Flygare | Jul 8, 2016 | Books, Comics, Fandom Editorial, Marvel
In the summer of 2014 we were shocked when Marvel announced that Thor would lose his worthiness of wielding his mystic hammer, Mjolnir, and it would be taken up by a mysterious woman who would replace him as “Thor.” Originally, when I had heard this announcement I was very bitter. Thor is by far my favorite comic book hero and has always been very dear to my heart. I gave the new Thor a chance and despite my bias against her, I kind of liked the new series. Jason Aaron is the writer of the series and he has proved himself to know what he doing with both the original and the new Thor. God of Thunder was one of my favorite runs of my favorite character since Dan Jurgen and Walt Simonson. If he could do that why couldn’t he make this new one enjoyable.
As time went on we had learned that this mysterious woman was, in fact, Jane Foster. That had brought my bitterness back. I had been dreading that kind of thing from the beginning and now it had manifested itself. Jane has always been one the most uninteresting and most boring characters in the the Thor and Marvel mythos. The whole time we were trying to uncover her identity, I was praying to the gods that it wasn’t her and that it would be Freya or Sif. The gods didn’t listen. Regardless, I pushed on in my collecting of the series and still enjoying it for the most part. Why? Because I craved what was happening with the Thor I knew and loved.
Since the announcing of the change of character I had hoped that Marvel would do another series to go with Jane’s series that would follow Thor on his path of redemption. I waited each month for some kind of announcement of that nature but was disappointed each day. Until yesterday. Yesterday, Marvel announced their new Thor series titled, The Unworthy Thor, that would be rolling out as part of Marvel’s new “Marvel NOW!” line of series. The series will follow Thor as he becomes worthy of the Mjolnir that was left behind in our universe after the death the Ultimate Thor in the Secret Wars title, Thors. In that series, we follow Leif, who is actually the Thor of the Ultimate Universe, as he tries to solve a series of murders across Battleworld (if you want more info on these events, please read Secret Wars and Secret Wars: Thors). The series ends after four issues with the fall of Leif and his hammer flying off throughout space to land where Asgard once stood. It had been resting there awaiting Thor to reclaim it, and reclaim it he has.
This is a very interesting twist to the story and one I am actually very excited to delve into. Like I previously stated, this is exactly what I wanted. Ever since Original Sin where Nick Fury whispered some mysterious saying in Thor’s ear to make him drop the hammer for good, I had been waiting for his story and his journey. I hope that in The Unworthy Thor we can see him develop from being “unworthy” to being able to hold his own hammer again, as well as finally figuring out what the one eyed bastard actually said to him. The series could take a lot of turns as Thor learns what it means (again) to be worthy.
With this though, there are some questions that pop into mind concerning the new series. Will Thor and Jane fight alongside? I am almost positive that they will but I am hoping that it will be kept very minimal. I want this to be solely on my main man. The next question is where will it take place? Like all great Thor stories, I imagine that it will take place throughout all the Ten Realms and maybe even beyond. Thor has a long journey ahead of him and I can’t imagine it will take place in only a few places. The last question is the biggest for me. If Thor is worthy of the Ultimate Universe’s hammer, why is he not worthy of our’s? I really hope that this is explained in a very logical way but sometimes comics have really dumb ways of explaining things. The inscription on the Ultimate Mjolnir is exactly the same as the 616’s version. It reads, “Whosoever wields this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” Once again, if he’s worthy of wielding one, why can’t he wield both? I guess we will see. Perhaps he is not ready to take his back and wishes Jane to keep it. Who knows?
This fall will be a very exciting time for me and I truly look forward to seeing what happens to Thor in The Unworthy Thor. Stay tuned for more Storm Predictions as we learn more!
by Ben Flygare | Jun 16, 2016 | Gaming, Gaming Editorial, RPG, Video Games
Yesterday we were graced with some more great peeks at the upcoming Pokemon games, Sun and Moon, at this year’s E3 conference. For the first time in the franchise’s history, we got to see a live presentation of the first little bit of the game. Three new Pokemon were shown and we got an exciting new battle feature.
In the live stream we got to see the player go out in the wild for the first time after receiving their starter. The player on the stream chose Popplio. When the player entered the grass for the first time and a battle was initiated, our hearts stopped…only to be disappointed by a Ledyba.
During the battle we got a really good look at the new battle interface and the menu on the bottom screen. One new addition I am really excited about is on the bottom screen there is a sprite for each Pokemon in battle. When you click on the Pokemon, a menu pops up where you can see the changes to the stats of that Pokemon. For example, the player had his Popplio use “Growl” on the Ledyba and upon opening that new menu we could see that the Ledyba’s Attack stat had been lowered by one point. This is a much needed feature that I think many fans will be excited about using.
After that first battle the player finally encountered a new Pokemon! The Pokemon he ran into was the mongoose Pokemon, Yungoose. Yungoose will definitely be the “vermin” Pokemon of this generation much like its predecessors Rattata, Sentret, etc. It is a Normal type and has the abilities, Strong Jaw and Stakeout which gives more power when a Pokemon is switched into combat. After that we got both the regional bird and bug Pokemon of Generation 7. Pikipek is a small Woodpecker Pokemon and has the Keen Eye and Skill Link ability. It is Normal and Flying type and will be found on Route 1 of the new games. The other new comer is the regional bug, Grubbin. Grubbin is a pure Bug type and has the ability of Swarm.
The last feature that we got to see is one that I am really excited about. There will be a new battle option where 4 trainers can engage in a free for all. This will add a very exciting and interesting element to battles with other trainers.
Pokemon Sun and Moon will be released in North America on November 18, 2016. Look forward to more coverage as we receive it!
by Ben Flygare | Jun 11, 2016 | Animated Movies, Anime, Fandom, Movies
In the summer of 2014, Mamoru Hosoda announced his next project to be a movie titled, The Boy and the Beast. Upon hearing just that I was excited because I am a huge fan of Hosoda’s work but when I saw the first image of the film showing the titular main characters, that is when my excitement became too much to contain. The picture showed us a little boy with a katana over his shoulder and standing in the middle of the busy Shibuya intersection. Standing next to him was a large anthropomorphic bear also with a katana in the same fashion. I was already intrigued and dying to see it. As the months went on I waited on bated breath for any other announcement until the first trailer was released. I was assaulted with the most beautiful animation and music that I had yet to see in a movie like this. It was then I knew that this was going to be something special.
For those who are unfamiliar with Mamoru Hosoda and his work, he is an anime director and art director who is often called the “Hiyao Miyazaki of our generation.” His works include The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, and Wolf Children. His movies are usually a bit sad but they always have a message entailed in the story and I was excited to learn what it might be in The Boy and the Beast. As we learned more of the story it became apparent that the message would be along the lines of fatherly roles and becoming the person you are meant to be.
The story follows a young boy named Ren who runs away from home after the death of his family. He is alone on the streets of Shibuya and is alone in the world. While sitting with his head down in despair and hopelessness he is approached by a two cloaked figures. The largest one grabs Ren’s chin in a large furry paw and makes him look up at him. Ren then sees the face of a bear beast and is first introduced to Kumatetsu. Kumatetsu comes from a world separate from ours that is inhabited by anthropomorphic beasts who, unlike humans, become gods later. The Lord of Jutengai, the largest of the Beast world cities, is on his path to become a god and a successor is to be found. The decision comes down to two beast, the noble and collected Iozen and the powerful but arrogant and unrefined Kumatetsu. The Lord tells Kumatetsu that he must have a pupil in order to learn more about being the lord so Kumatetsu goes to the human world to seek a pupil and finds Ren, who he re-names Kyuta. The two then must learn to cope with each other and learn from each other.
The animation is one of the best things about the movie. In the same vein as his other works, Hosoda uses a lot of bright colors that are very relaxing to watch. The art is also very beautiful and very fluid in it’s animation. All of the settings that are seen throughout the movie will leave you breathless. Hosoda definitely knows what he’s doing when it comes to the art and presentation of his movies.
Takagi Masakatsu is the brilliant mind behind the gorgeous soundtrack to the movie. He also was involved in the music for Hosoda’s previous work, Wolf Children. The soundtrack, in my opinion, is the most important aspect to this movie next to the story. Even long after watching, I listened to the soundtrack and was immediately overtaken with the same emotions I had when I saw it. If you fall in love like I did with this movie, I highly recommend picking up the soundtrack as well.
One thing I wish the movie had done is focus more on the relationship between Kyuta and Kumatetsu. At times it felt rushed with how fast their relationship was developing and it would have been nice if we could’ve really seen how they were growing and learning from each other. We get to see a lot of growth but it is shown in quick montages of scenes of Kyuta growing older and training with Kumatetsu. It was not quite adequate enough to really get a sense of how much these two have grown together to be, not only a master and pupil, but also a father and a son. That is where this movie shines: in that relationship.
The Boy and the Beast is filled with great humour, breathtaking fight scenes, gorgeous music and heartwarming moments. There is certainly something for everyone to enjoy even if you are not into anime. It is a movie that is surely going to move you and make you a bit emotional. This was the first movie in quite sometime that make me break down in tears. That is a common theme in Hosoda movies to be sure. Be sure to see it at some point. You won’t be disappointed!
by Ben Flygare | Jun 8, 2016 | Books, Fandom
Middle-Earth is my home. I know the forests of Lothlorien, The Baggins’ home under the hill, the cavern halls of the Lonely Mountain, and the plains of Rohan as well as I know my own home. I know that I am not alone in this claim either. There are thousands of people who can say they have had their lives impacted by the works of Master J.R.R. Tolkien.
J.R.R. Tolkien is, in many minds, the father and master of “high fantasy” and revolutionizing fantasy as we know it. Regardless if you agree with a claim of that majesty, the works of Master Tolkien definitely revolutionized the world of fantasy for me personally and changed my life.
Growing up I had always had quite the imagination but I didn’t really have an outlet for it. I knew what fantasy was in everything but name. I had played games like Heroes of Might and Magic, The Legend of Zelda, and Final Fantasy, but I had no idea what kind of genre that fit in. When it came to reading I was always ahead of my peers but did not know what was really out there outside of the classics that my parents would get me. It was not until I was in fourth grade where I stumbled upon a copy we had of the 1977 animated movie of The Hobbit. I was enthralled from the very beginning. After watching it dozens of times I started to beg my parents to get me a copy of the book so I could read it. I finally got my copy and read it in record time. I couldn’t get enough of Bilbo’s adventure with the mysterious wizard Gandalf and the Dwarves he accompanied to reclaim their ancient home. That year for Christmas my dad gave me his copies of The Lord of the Rings and a relentlessly devoured those just as I did The Hobbit. It was there, I began my neverending adventure into the realm of fantasy.
Miraculously enough, I did not need to wait very long to see my beloved books be adapted into movies. The Fellowship of the Ring premiered the next Christmas after. It was everything I could have hoped for. Everything that Peter Jackson had done in those movies had exceeded my expectations and made me fall in love all over again with Master Tolkien’s art. I continued to watch them with the same exuberance that I did when I read the books.
Shortly thereafter, my thirst to know more of the mythos of Arda and Middle-Earth began to increase and I started to try to find out more. I scoured the internet for more works and I discovered The Silmarillion soon after. While a dryer read than the other, more adventurous works, The Silmarillion is a great book by itself because it tells the history of the world I love so much. It gives us a great inside look on how Arda was created, where the Wizards came from, and how Sauron came to power. We meet many new heroes and villains that are just as important as any we see in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. One of those that I love so much is the tragic Feanor. I highly recommend giving it a read.
The fantasy genre owes so much to Master Tolkien as well as myself personally. I chose to be a writer and to channel my creativeness and imagination on paper because of the influence of this great man. I can honestly say that because of this influence I am the person I am today. Many people have their heroes and those they look up to, and Master Tolkien stands at the top of the list of heroes to me as well as many of his creations. If you have never read one of his books or even seen one of the movies, I beseech you to remedy that and find the joy and pleasure that I have found.
“Not all those who wander are lost.”
by Ben Flygare | Jun 3, 2016 | Comics, Fandom, Marvel, Movies, Uncategorized
On the latest episode of Kevin Smith’s podcast, “Fat Man on Batman,” Marvel’s CCO Joe Quesada gave us some wonderful news on Marvel’s oldest super hero: Namor is back home in the House of Ideas. For quite some years it was always a topic of confusion on where the film rights of the Sub-Mariner were. For quite a few years there were reports that Universal owned his rights along with the Hulk but others said that Namor belonged to Fox considering his extensive ties with the Fantastic Four and mutants.
This is great news because we can finally see Namor on the silver screen alongside our beloved heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Concerning when we would see the King of Atlantis on the screen, Joe said that he “could neither confirm or deny” on if it would be soon. Regardless, this is an exciting time for Marvel fans! IMPERIUS REX!