BenJJedi's The Wizard of Oz, Ch. 1, Ladies and gentlemen, welcome. It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to this new story. Now, we invite you to sit back and relax, bring up your buckets of popcorn as we proudly present a fanmake of everyone's favorite family adventure...The Wizard of Oz"For over a century, this story has given faithful service to the Young in Heart; and Time has been powerless to put its kindly philosophy out of fashion. To those of you who have been faithful to it in return ...and to the Young in Heart ...we dedicate this retelling."****Fifteen year old Naminé hurriedly raced down the dirt road toward her family home, her school bag clutched tightly in her right hand. She was wearing a blue gingham dress that extended just below her knees with a white blouse underneath and a pair of brown leather shoes covered her blue socks-covered feet. Her shoulder length blond hair draped over her right shoulder. Every few seconds, she looked back over her shoulder the further she ran down the road before she finally stopped to catch her breath and kneel down. "She... she isn't coming yet, Socks."The poor young girl spoke to her little Blue Heeler puppy, Socks, who had also been running alongside her. Her fur was mostly the color of blue, save for a dark blue spot that covered the left side of her head and matched the color of her ears while her belly and paws were a lighter shade of blue. The fur pattern on her paws made it look as though she was wearing socks, which had convinced young Naminé to give her little dog her namesake the day she and her parents welcomed the adorable puppy into the family. What had made Socks all the more special to Naminé was that she was a birthday present to the girl from her parents personally. Sadly, her mother and father died in a tragic accident a couple weeks after her birthday and sometime after, the two had been made to live with her Uncle Homer, Aunt Marge and cousins Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson; the only family known to her that lived close by.The teenager earlier had just been walking home from school with her little dog when they happened to pass by the home of the wealthiest lady in the county, Miss Victoria DeLisle, but many knew her as Vicky. Or as Naminé and her friends would call her, "Icky Vicky". As they passed by, Vicky's cat taunted Socks to the point it had drove the little puppy to chase the darn feline into the older woman's garden and chase her throughout. All the commotion had brought Vicky out of her home and she had given chase herself. Because Socks was so riled up from chasing the elderly redhead's feline, she nipped Vicky on her leg, causing her to yell out and smack the little dog on the back with a rake.Naminé had quickly intervened and scooped little Socks up and ran fast down the road, despite all the angry screams from Vicky in her direction about knowing where she lived and how she'd get the Sheriff involved. At one point during their panicked trek home, the blond teen placed her dog down on the road to run alongside her. She looked back every few seconds to make sure Vicky wasn't following them. When the two had finally stopped to catch their breath, Naminé took the time to look Socks over for any bruises or scratches."Did she hurt you?" Naminé asked the Blue Heeler pup, practically expecting her to respond despite knowing she couldn't talk. Thankfully, she didn't find any signs of injury before hugging her dog protectively, "She tried to, didn't she? Well, don't you worry. We can tell Uncle Homer and Aunt Marge about it, they'll know what to do. Come on, Socks!" With that, she placed her puppy down and the continued running down the dirt road to her aunt and uncle's farm. As they continued running, Naminé kept looking back to make sure Vicky still wasn't coming their way. This continued until she made her way through the gates of her farm and she looked all over for her Uncle Homer and Aunt Marge, until she spotted them by the farmhouse.Her uncle Homer was a man in his late thirties with skin as yellow as corn, nearly as bald as an egg and quite on the plump side. The only hair he had on his head were a few strands of brown hair while his face had a five o' clock shadow. At the time, he was wearing a white farmer's shirt with blue pants and brown boots. As for his wife, Marge, she was a woman in her mid to late thirties and, much like Homer, had yellow skin. By contrast to her balding husband, however, she had a head full of blue hair that was in a beehive hairdo and nearly half her height from head to toe. She was also a very petite woman and wore a short-sleeved lime green blouse and a matching shin-length skirt, along with a white apron and orange shoes that matched the color of her beaded necklace. How a white-skinned girl like Naminé had any relation to her literally yellow-skinned Aunt, Uncle and cousins, she had no clue. And to be frank, even I don't know. Yet she never questioned it because she loved them dearly as much as they loved her. However, there were times where they would neglect to give her the time of day.The sound of chirping was filling the air as the two elders were scooping up little baby chicks from what looked like a broken incubator. Marge was holding a couple in her apron already while Homer held a few in a bowler hat he had in his hands. From the looks of things, both were going about things rather frantically."Aunt Marge! Aunt Marge!" Naminé exclaimed, making her way over to her Aunt and Uncle, "Aunt Marge, just listen to what Miss DeLise did to Socks!" Marge briefly looked to her niece, "Please, Naminé, not now. We're trying to count." She then went back to counting each chick she put into the makeshift pouch of her apron, "Sixty-three, sixty-four, sixty-five..."Homer counted as well, taking each chick from his hat and putting them into a chicken pen. "Sixty-six, sixty-seven, sixty-eight, sixty-nine..." At reaching that last number and closing the pen, the plump man snickered immaturely much to the chagrin of his wife."Homer..." She sighed, rolling her eyes."What? I thought it was funny!" "But Aunt Marge, she hit her and-!" Naminé tried to say.Now it was Homer's turn to interrupt her. "Look, sweetie. Can it wait? The incubator broke just now and if we don't hurry, we might lose a lot of chicks and we can't afford for that to happen."The teenage girl practically forgot her own troubles and scooped up a chick into her hands. "Oh, the poor little things." She cooed aloud, following Marge to another pen occupied by another chicken, "Oh, but Aunt Marge, Miss DeLisle hit Socks over the back with a rake just because she gets into the garden and chases her mean old cat every day.""Seventy!" Marge counted the chick she scooped from Naminé's hands, placing it along with the other chicks she was carrying into the pen before shutting it, "Naminé, please!""Oh, but she doesn't do it every day! Just once or twice a week! Not that she can catch her cat anyway. But now, she says she's gonna get the Sheriff involved a-!" "Naminé, we're busy!" The blond girl felt herself deflate at hearing that. Desperately, she looked to her Uncle Homer. "Uncle Homer, can't you do something?" "Sorry, sweetie. I'm doing something right now." Homer replied, bringing his once again chick-filled hat to Marge, who took the chicks from it and placed them into another pen."Ohh.... okay..." Naminé replied, dejected as she walked over to the barn. Inwardly, she wished her cousins Bart and Lisa weren't away on a trip for school. If they weren't, they'd surely help her out of hers and Socks's situation. Well... Lisa would. Bart would probably have made a smart-aleck remark, much to both of the girls's annoyance. But she digressed. Over by the barn, she noticed the three farmhands, Roxas, Mario and Bowser, fixing an old wagon. Roxas, Naminé's sweetheart and best friend besides Socks, was about her age and had slightly spiky dirt blond hair and eyes as blue as a robin's egg. At the time, he was wearing a straw hat with a gray vest and a white and black-checkered button down underneath, beige pants and black boots. Due to the fact he was a teenager, Roxas would tend to forget that he sometimes wasn't the brightest tool in the shed and would do some very foolish things.Mario, formerly a plumber, was a man in his mid to late twenties. His eyes were a darker shade of blue and his hair was a light brown. A wavy mustache sat just underneath his big, round nose. Along with a red cap that sported a red M on it, he wore a red button-down underneath a pair of blue denim overalls, white gloves and brown boots. What stuck out to Namine with Mario was that he had a heart of gold and cared deeply for anybody he considered friends and family. Heck, if there was danger, he wouldn't hesitate to jump into action. Bowser, however, was the most intimidating looking of the bunch. He stood at six and a half feet and looked like a turtle crossed with a dragon with orange scales, white claws and red eyes and a tuft of red hair atop his head. On his back rested a green turtle-like shell with yellow spikes. But despite his scary and muscular/bulky appearance, he was a big softie and a bit of a fraidy cat at times. At the moment, he had on a gray farmer's hat, a blue button down and green pants. Unlike the others, the king koopa wore no footwear because he saw no point and no shoe could fit him without him ripping them open with his toe claws."How's it looking?" Bowser asked, holding up the bed of the wagon with Mario."Take it easy..." Roxas spoke, working on the axle of the wagon.Mario looked like he was having trouble, holding up part of the wagon bed. "Mama mia, hurry up-a! I'm-a not made of-a metal!" Not knowing Roxas still had his hand along the frame, the mustachio and the king koopa accidentally set the wagon right on his finger.At that, the blond teen yelped, quickly pulling his hand out from underneath. "Ow! You got my finger!" He cried out, flapping his hurt hand."Well, why don'tcha get your finger outta the way?" Bowser retorted, a smug smirk on his face before he and Mario finally placed the wagon bed down with a loud bang."Phew! For a minute-a, I almost-a thought my-a arms were-a gonna fall-a right outta their-a sockets." Mario sighed out in relief, rubbing his arms before walking into the barn.Roxas rubbed his sore hand, "Right on my finger...""Hey, at least it wasn't your head that got hit." Bowser replied, sticking his tongue out. Making herself known, Naminé approached the dragon-like creature. "Bowser, what am I gonna do about Miss DeLisle? Just because Socks gets into her-." She began until Bowser interrupted her."Sorry, kid. Can't talk now," Bowser spoke, picking up a bucket as he made his way over to the pig pen, "The ol' lady told me to feed the hogs."Roxas then walked up to the dejected teen girl as he spoke. "Look, Naminé, I don't think you're using your head about old lady Vicky. No offense, but it's like ya don't have any brains." "I have so got brains!" Naminé shot back, not even trying to hide the fact she felt offended. "Well, then use them! That way, when you're coming home, do what I do and don't walk anywhere near Icky Vicky's place. Then Socks won't get into her garden and you won't get in trouble." Naminé just shook her head. "Oh, Roxas. I love you, but sometimes, you just won't listen." She replied, scooping Socks up into her arms before she walked away."Hey, at least your head's not made of straw." Roxas remarked with a shrug, picking up a hammer. He then used that and hammered on a nail in the wagon. Unfortunately, he also ended up hitting his finger and yelped, kissing his once again hurt finger.As Roxas got back to work on the wagon, Naminé walked inside the barn while holding Socks. They spotted Mario humming to himself as he worked on a strange-looking contraption. Once he was finished with his tinkering, the mustachio stood up and stretched with a slight groan, his back cracking as he arched it."Mama mia, I feel-a like-a my joints are-a rusting." He mused to himself as he stretched out. It was then that he noticed Naminé and Socks standing just behind him, the former having placed the latter down. Smiling, Mario approached the blond teenage girl, placing a hand on her shoulder. "Listen-a, Naminé. Don't-a let Roxas kid-a you about that-a ol' biddy-a, Vicky. She's-a just a poor-a sour-faced old-a maid that..." The red and blue-clad farmhand hummed as he rubbed the back of his head, "... well, I suppose-a that she hasn't-a got much-a of a heart-a left. You should-a have a little-a more heart-a too."“Honestly, I try to have a heart.” Naminé answered simply, setting Socks down.“Anyways-a, look, here's-a something that-a really has a heart,” The red-clad former plumber replied, eagerly smiling as he gestured to the machine while walking to it with Naminé and her little puppy following, “This-a right here-a is the best-a invention I ever-a made!”The gingham-clad blond girl quizzically looked at the contraption. “This old thing?”“You-a betcha. It helps-a break up-a winds, so we don't-a have to-a worry about-a dust storms! Can-a you imagine-a what it’ll-a mean to-a this part of-a the country? Lemme-a demonstrate!”The young girl knew that Mario was a bit of an inventor and a tinkerer, going out of his way to create new things when he should have been helping out on the farm. But sometimes, his tinkering would actually help improve some machinery or equipment when absolutely necessary. But right now, the red and blue-wearing farmhand ran to the side of the wind machine and turned on the motor. At first, the machine slowly began sputtering to life. The three watched it as it rumbled, Mario looking excited while Naminé and Socks looked very curious.“Yahoo! It-a works!” The mustachio exclaimed, hopping with joy, "Anyhoo, you see that-a fan? It-a sends up-a air currents into-a the sky. And –”Suddenly, much to his surprise and confusion, the machine started sputtering uncontrollably. Mario's excitement quickly turned to shock and alarm as he hurriedly began to struggle with the machine. As he did so, oil began spraying out of it as Naminé gasped and Socks barked in excitement and amusement.“Oh-a, stop it!” Mario shouted, attempting to turn off the machine as best as he could while getting sprayed in the face with oil.“Oh, my!" Naminé exclaimed, quickly running out of the barn with Socks following.Eventually, after much struggling, Mario finally got the wind machine to shut off by pulling a circuit loose. However, after all that, he was practically soaked in oil. The mustachio quickly wiped as much oil off his face and clothes as he could with a nearby towel before he grunted.“Okey-dokey, who-a did it?” He asked, looking around before storming out of the barn, “Now wait-a. I bet it was-a Roxas. Probably-a did it to-a get back at-a me for-a last week..."Outside, Naminé and Socks walked over to the pig pen. There, they saw Bowser opening the gate to the pen, allowing a dozen hogs to trot through the gate. She knew the big, brooding dragon-like monster was a big softie at heart, but sometimes, he really meant business when he did his work with herding any farm animals. It also helped that Bowser could use his intimidating looks to get the animals to do as he ordered and made sure they didn't forget he was in charge."Go on, in ya go!" The king koopa ordered the hogs into the pen, "Get in there before I turn you all into bacon!" When the last hog walked right through the gate, Bowser quickly shut it. He didn't notice at first Naminé walking up to the pen with Socks. The puppy just sat at the base of the pen while her owner climbed atop the beam and walked along it, balancing as she did so as though she were walking on a tightrope. The king koopa took notice as he poured feed into the troughs."Listen, kid. Don't let ol' Icky Vicky try and push ya around," Bowser advised as he went about his task, "She's nothing to be scared of. All ya gotta do is have a bit of courage, that's all.""I'm not afraid of her." The blond teenager replied, crossing the railing between pig pens as she kept balancing."Well, then next time she shrieks at ya, walk right up to her and spit in her eye or give her a good kick in the shins." He remarked confidently, but then scratched his chin, "Actually, kicking her might break her leg. I mean, if I did it anyway. Hmm..."As Bowser mused to himself, he didn't notice at first Naminé was having trouble keeping her balance. She suddenly let out a loud cry as she fell right into one of the pens, the cry breaking the beast out of his thoughts. He turned just in time to see her fall in. Witnessing this, Socks barked in panic for her fallen mistress. Immediately, panic took ahold of him and Bowser quickly jumped the fence into the pen and rushed over to the fallen girl, helping her get her foot untangled from a piece of wire he assumed caused her to fall."Oh! Bowser! Help!" Naminé shouted as Bowser quickly scooped her up into his arms, "Help me, Bowser! Get me out of here!" As quickly as he hopped into the pen, the dragon/turtle-like monster quickly hopped out with Naminé in his arms before he set her down. He then plopped down, looking unnerved as he clutched his chest. The commotion attracted the attenion of Roxas and Mario- the latter confronting the former over the mishap concerning his malfunctioning wind machine- and caused them to forget their argument and rush over to see what could be done."Naminé, are-a you okay-a?!" The mustachio asked in concern."You're not hurt, are you??" Roxas asked, clearly panicked as he looked over his girlfriend.Even Socks barked in concern for her owner, hoping she wasn't hurt too badly."No, no! I'm okay!" Naminé assured them, "I fell in and- and Bowser-."Here, she turned to see Bowser clutching his heart with one hand as he sat down and wiped his sweaty face with a handkerchief. It was in a quick instance that her panic pretty much disappeared and she smiled in amusement with a giggle. The blond girl knew it was a rarity to see her intimidating looking friend look frightened and she felt bad for finding it funny, but she couldn't help it. Nor could Mario and Roxas."Heh. Why, Bowser... you're just as scared as I am." Naminé giggled out. Smirking, Roxas took a chance to mock him. "Aww, what's the matter? Did the little piggies scare the big, tough dragon?" He teased in a baby talk voice."Look at-a ya, Bowser! You're as-a white as a sheet-a!" Mario couldn't help but point out, chuckling a bit himself.The three laughed a bit more at Bowser's apparent fear. Even Socks barked and yipped in amusement along with them. All Bowser could do was frown and look a bit embarrassed at the fact that they saw him let his tough demeanor down because he panicked while rescuing the young girl.“All right, all right. Break it up! What’s all this chitter-chatter when there’s work to be done?” The sound of Marge's voice caught their attention and they turned to see the blue-haired woman standing there, frowning at them in disapproval. In her hands she held a plate full of crullers, a well known pastry in the South."I know three shiftless farmhands that'll be out of a job before they know it." She remarked, glancing at Roxas, Mario and Bowser in particular."Well-a, Namine was-a walking along-a-." Not letting Mario finish his sentence, Marge interrupted him. "I saw you tinkering with that silly contraption, Mario. Now you help Roxas with that wagon.""Okey-dokey, Mrs.-a Simpson," The former plumber replied, beginning to walk away before he struck a victorious pose, "But believe-a me. One-a day, they'll make a statue-a of me in-a this town-a!""Well, don't pose for it just yet."Mario's smile faded while Roxas just laughed at him. Marge suddenly dropped her stern demeanor in favor of a sweeter one as she smiled and held out the plate full of crullers."Here, can't work on an empty stomach. Have some crullers." She offered sweetly."Swell. Thanks, Mrs. Simpson." Roxas praised, accepting a cruller."Thanks-a, Ma'am." Mario added, accepting one of his own."Just fried." Marge added, smiling.With that, the blond-haired boy and brown-haired mustachio went back to work on the wagon. Naminé and Bowser each took a cruller of their own as the latter spoke."Well, ya see..." Bowser began to explain, "Naminé fell right in with the big-""A pig sty is no place for Naminé to play in," Marge replied, interrupting him as she gestured to the pig pen, "Now finish feeding those hogs before they worry themselves sick.""Yes, Ma'am." The dragon-like creature replied, doing as he was told.With that, Marge turned to walk towards the house. Naminé saw this as her chance to finally talk to her aunt now that she didn't look busy. The blond teen girl spoke as she walked alongside her literally yellow-skinned aunt, little Socks following them both."Aunt Marge? Really," Naminé spoke in concern and worry, "Do you know what Miss DeLisle said she was going to do to Socks? She said she'd-""Naminé, please. You always get yourself worked up over nothing." Marge chided her, not letting her finish."But Aunt Marge-!" "Look, just please help us out today and find yourself a place that you won't get into any trouble!" As soon as she finished saying that, Marge walked quickly back to the house while Naminé just stood there in surprise. She allowed her aunt's words to sink in as she took a bite of her cruller before letting loose with a sad sigh."Someplace where there isn't any trouble..." She mused aloud before turning to look at Socks, "Do you think such a place exists, Socks?" As she said that, Naminé broke off a piece of her cruller and tossed it to Socks. The little puppy caught the cruller piece in her mouth and chewed it before gulping it down. She then turned her attention back to her mistress who was finishing her cruller as she got lost in thought."I'm sure it does," The blue gingham-clad girl continued musing, "It's not a place you can get to by a boat or a train. It's far, far away. Behind the moon... beyond the rain..."The girl came to a tall haystack and leaned against it, looking up towards the partly cloudy sky. She wished there were a place where she could be free of her worries and troubles, including troubles with Vicky. As she got lost in thought, Naminé began to sing a little song.Naminé: Somewhere over the rainbowWay up highThere's a land that I heard ofOnce in a lullabyNaminé stood back up, walking over to a nearby ride-on rake. While she continued to sing, she rested her arms on one of the wheels, leaning her head on them as she kept her gaze towards the sky.Somewhere over the rainbowSkies are blueAnd the dreams that you dare to dreamReally do come trueAt the foot of the rake, Socks looked up at Naminé with a smile on her face as her tail wagged. While she continued to sing, the latter teetered a bit on the wheel before walking to the front of the rake. Socks hopped onto the seat of the rake before her mistress petted her affectionately.Someday I'll wish upon a starAnd wake up where the clouds are far Behind meWhere troubles melt like lemon dropsAway above the chimney topsThat's where you'll find meNaminé sat down just before the rake, her gaze still on the cloudy sky. By now, a hopeful smile found its way across her lips as she turned her attention back to Socks, rubbing her little paw gently.Somewhere over the rainbowBluebirds flyBirds fly over the rainbowWhy then, oh why can't I?Just then, their attention turned back to the sky at the sound of birds singing sweetly. The girl and dog noticed a break in the clouds that allowed a few rays of sunshine to break through, lifting Naminé's spirits a bit more as she finished her song.If happy little bluebirds flyBeyond the rainbowWhy, oh why can't I?As soon as she finished singing, Naminé turned to look at Socks and gave her a big hug as she smiled, the latter's tail wagging once again. Maybe Marge was right. Maybe she was making a big deal over nothing and she hoped that Vicky was just making empty threats to scare her.At least...She hoped that was the case.
So I Finally Watched The Legend of KorraWell I finally finished watching Avatar: The Legend of Korra, and what did I think?IT WAS F*CKING HORRIBLE!!!,
https://youtu.be/cphNpqKpKc4.........Nah. I'm kiddin'. It was great. Although it does have its problems. Now this is one of those shows that's hard to talk about as a whole, and is better to cover season by season. Think of this as my (mini?) review of The Legend of Korra. I'm going to go over each season, give a summary of that seasons plot, then talk about the main characters and how they grew in the season, then the new characters who appeared, then the season finale, and then my favorite and least favorite episode of the season. Lets begin.Book 1: AirBook 1 manages to be a great start. We get properly introduced to this world, and while the first three episodes were just sorta ok, it was episode four where I got hooked. The world of of Avatar has gotten a lot more steampunk. Which I liked. We find that many years have passed since the end of the 100 year war. The Fire Nation isn't attacking, the world has entered a new era, and Avatar Aang has long passed and a new Avatar has been born. Avatar Korra. Voiced by Janet Varney. While Aang started off a master of airbending and spent the entirety of The Last Airbender learning the other elements, while Korra has easily gotten down all the elements except for airbending. This brings her to Republic City. The capital of the United Republic of Nations. A place that Aang and Zuko made as a place where people from each of the nations can come together and live harmony. While in Republic City, she plans to master airbending with one of Aang's three children, Tenzin. Voiced by the always great J.K. Simmons. Along with his family who live on Air Temple Island. Korra also meets the brothers Mako and Bolin. Voiced by David Faustino and PJ Byrne respectively. A pair of pro-bending players who make up the team called the Fire Ferrets. Korra quickly becomes good friends with the two, and even joins their pro-bending team and eventually helps them win the big tournament. But despite all the peace, and the 100 year war being over, bad guys still exist in this universe. Enter Amon, voiced by Steve Blum. Amon is the creepy and masked leader of the Equalists. A group of nonbenders who want to bring equality to the world by riding the world of all benders. Amon also has the power to take away people's bending. An ability previously thought to only belong to the Avatar. Which is what makes Amon such a feared but also respected figure in Republic City. It's up to Korra to foil his plans, but she's not alone. Along with Mako and Bolin, she has Asami. Daughter of a brilliant inventor who helped make Republic City the technologically advanced city that it is. There's also Chief Lin Beifong. Toph's daughter. Apparently Toph taught metalbending to others and now a police force consisting of nothing but metalbenders patrols Republic City. With the new Team Avatar and its allies established, the rest of the season sees Korra try everything she can to stop Amon, while also dealing with relationship drama, the pro-bending stuff, and Republic City's council.Like I said, Book 1's biggest strength is getting you introduced to this world and getting to know the characters we'll be spending the rest of the series with. Korra is the polar opposite of Aang in more ways than one. Aang was calm, patient, and was a free spirit. Korra is brash, often hotheaded, and wants nothing more than to do Avatar stuff solely for the thrill of it all. It took me a while to warm up to Korra because for so long I couldn't stop comparing her to Aang. You can thank Book 2 for that. While Aang is still the better character, Korra did really grow on me as the show went on. It's interesting how she handles each situation since she never approaches a situation from the same angle. She'll use brute force to handle common street criminals, but prefers to be a bit more cautious when dealing with major threats like Amon. Although sometimes her hotheadedness gets the best of her. Then there's Mako and Bolin. One's an earth bender, and the other's a fire bender. It really took me a while to warm up to them as well. They serve as our Katara and Sokka for this series. One takes their priorities seriously, a bit too seriously at times, and finds themselves in a relationship with the Avatar, and the other is a goofball who serves more as the comic relief, and isn't very bright, but can still have his endearing moments. I initially found Mako to kind of an asshole as well as boring and Bolin to just be an annoying Sokka wannabe. Didn't really care for their triangle with Korra either (love square if you include Asami). Both of these characters I grew to love with the later seasons due to their bromance and their own character arcs, but Book 1 did not do them justice. You also have Tenzin who makes for a great father figure to Korra, and of course, J.K. Simmons is always a win. Any series can be improved by having J.K. Simmons in it. I even like his family. I mean his kids start off pretty annoying, but like the other characters, they grew on me as the show went along. Yes, even Meelo. Asami is ok, but once again, I didn't find her interesting until the later seasons. The same can be kinda be said for Lin. She's the stereotypical no nonsense character, but she did have her badass moments, and her found her relationship with Tenzin to be pretty funny. I don't have much to say on General Iroh (the new one at least). He's just sorta there. Yeah I was pretty surprised when we first meet him and learn his name, and hear that Dante Basco is voicing him, but Iroh manages to be the most boring character on the show. Every time he shows up, I'm waiting for him to get some kind of character arc but it never happens.But for ever hero there's just about another villain. This brings me to Amon. Basically Amon and the Equalists are the Magneto and Brotherhood of Mutants of this universe. Amon is an excellent villain. He's my personal favorite villain of the series. Not the best (we'll get to him later), just my personal favorite. Not only does Steve Blum give a chilling performance as the character, but as you learn his backstory and the show fleshes out his personality, you totally understand this guy's motivations. Like other villains on the show, they're not entirely in the wrong. Amon's not wrong when he points out how unfairly nonbenders are treated as we have groups of bending thieves and criminals who use their powers to prey on the weak and defenseless. Amon felt like a real threat because whenever he showed up, you knew things were getting serious. And he was always one step ahead of the heroes. You also have a great secondary villain with Tarlock, voiced by Dee Bradley Baker. A very fascist like councilman who you're never really sure is truly evil. For a while, it seemed pretty obvious that we was Amon given how many times he proves to be a pain in Korra's ass, but then they throw one twist on top of another, and we begin to learn a lot more about him which makes him all the more interesting.The season finale was actually pretty good. I don't think it's as bad as others have said, although I will agree that it does end with a serious deus ex machina, but in the show's defense, the crew didn't know they were going to get a 2nd season because Nickelodeon had no faith in the show, and the first season was treated like a 12 episode miniseries, and at the time, it made sense for the finale to end the way it did.Favorite Episode: Skeletons in the Closet- Amon and Tarlock's backstory. Nuff said.Least Favorite Episode: The Spirit of Competition- it's the relationship drama that ruins this one for me.Book gets a 7/10.Book 2: SpiritsOh boy, Book 2. There's a lot to unpack this season which is one of biggest problems. First we had too little plot, and now we have too much plot. Lets establish that I don't hate this season, but it still managed to drop the ball hard for me, and it's mostly due to two characters. Our hero and our villain. So lets get the plot summary out of the way.Because the show was originally just a 12 episode miniseries, this series had to be a soft reboot for the show. Causing for a lot of the characters to lose the development they got in the previous season. Six months after the events of the Anti-bending Revolution, Korra, having learned to bend all four elements and achieved status as a fully realized Avatar, must travel to both the North and South Pole to handle dark spirits who are running amuck. The villain this time is Unalaq, voiced by Adrian LaTourelle. Korra's uncle. Unalaq starts off as someone teaches Korra how to handle all these spirits, and better connect with her spiritual side like no other Avtar has since the first Avatar. Who we actually do learn about this season to my surprise. As Korra quickly finds out, Unalaq is only using her so he can release our secondary villain for this season, Vaatu, voiced by Jonathan Adams, an incredibly powerful and evil spirit who embodies all that is dark and chaotic. Unalaq's plan is to become...a Dark Avatar. It's not as cool as I'm making it sound. Well not entirely. Seeing the Dark Avatar fight Korra at her full strength was awesome, and I'll get back to that later, but the parts leading up to it were not so awesome. The rest of the season involves Bolin meeting an eccentric man called Varrick, who helps Bolin become a "mover star", Mako trying to uncover a conspiracy or whatever, Asami trying to redeem her company after her father turned out to be working for Amon, Tenzin trying to reconcile with his brother and sister, and Lin doing nothing other than treating Mako like shit. The pacing is a lot worse this season. They move the plot along too fast this time, and reveals Unalaq's to be an evil dick way too soon.Like I said, it took me a while for me to like Korra. And Book 2 is a big reason why. In fact it wasn't until Book 3 where I really did started to like her, and it wasn't until Book 4 where I loved her and she became one of my favorite characters in the series. In Book 2, she lets her hotheadedness get the better of her way too often. Resulting in her making a lot of bad decisions. I swear she blows her top every time someone disagrees with her. At one point, Mako points out when she is clearly in the wrong, but she makes him out to be the bad guy and doesn't even take the time to listen to him despite all they've been through at this point. She blindly follows Unalaq instead of listening to her father and Tenzin who have taught her way more and she's know for much longer than her uncle who's she barely met. Also there's this weird shit about the Avatar having the remain neutral during conflicts which makes no f*cking sense. If that were the case, then Roku and Aang wouldn't have done shit to stop the Fire Nation from conquering the world. I really wanted to like Mako this season, and while he isn't an asshole this time, he's still pretty boring, and somehow has less of a personality this season. Bolin is one of the better things to come out of this season, and gets a really fun subplot with becoming an actor. Asami has an actual character arc, and aside from the love triangle bullshit, I actually liked her this season. But lets talk about the new characters now.I wasn't sure how to feel about Bumi and Kya when I first saw them. Aside from one episode, I don't recall them getting to do a whole lot of interesting stuff, but I did enjoy their relationship with Tenzin, and how they felt neglected by their father who seemed to favor Tenzin over them since Tenzin was the only one of Aang's children who was born an airbender. Yeah it doesn't surprise me that Aang didn't turn out to be the greatest father. Kya is mostly coolheaded, and really does value family, while Bumi is the crazy retired war veteran cliché who often recounts tale of his time on the battlefield. He's not as funny as the original Bumi, but he has his moments, and I especially enjoy his interactions with Kya and Tenzin. And then you have Varrick, voiced by John Michael Higgins. I absolutely love this guy. Iknik Blackstone Varrick (coolest name ever by the way) is an eccentric businessman with a silver tongue who can talk anyone into doing anything. Including Bolin. He's often followed by his loyal assistant Zhu Li. Who follows him EVERYWHERE! Meetings, boats, planes, trains, mech suits, prison, inside of a stuffed platypus bear, wherever Varrick goes, Zhu Li follows. Often doing "the things" for him. Varrick initially comes off as really shady and possibly another secondary villain, but we learn that Varrick may make a lot of really stupid non business decisions, he's still on the side of our heroes. He's also hilarious. A lot of the show's funniest moments come from Varrick, and you can tell Higgins is having a ball with this role. Some other new characters are Unalaq's children and Korra's cousins, Eska and Desna. Didn't really care for them all that much. Although Eska does get some pretty funny scenes with Bolin. Also, yes this is the season where the original Uncle Iroh shows up and it was great to see. The Zhao cameo was fun too, I gotta admit. And the fact that they got Jason Isaacs back just for that scene makes it all the better. And then of course there's Avatar Wan, and seeing his journey as the first Avatar was great. I just wish he was built up more which goes back to the awful pacing of this season.Unalaq, compared to Amon, is a really boring villain. He makes Firelord Ozai look like a complex character. I do get his motivations with him wanting a world where humans and sprits coexist, but he's the one in charge because he pretty much thinks all the Avatar's suck at their job, but in terms of his personality, there's just nothing to work with. He's a stale villain with nothing to offer. Vaatu isn't any better. I don't like his design, he's not threatening, and he's the ultimate example of how not to do the "demonic evil incarnate" villain archetype. Jonathan Adams does what he can with the role, but his dialogue is really bland as opposed to villains like Trigon from Teen Titans and the Lich from Adventure Time who are basically the same character but make for their one note personalities with their intimidation factor. Vaatu is just a giant magic kite.I actually enjoyed the finale what it's worth. I mean Unalaq and Vaatu becoming one don't make them any less lame or any more cool in any way, shape, or form, but the battle between UnaVaatu and Korra was pretty damn awesome, I'm not gonna lie. My biggest issues with the finale are, like I said, Unalaq and Vaatu, and also having it be this end of the world plot seems a bit too big for a 2nd season and it feels out of place compare to the more grounded threats to come after it. The stake were just too high for the show's own good.Favorite Episode: Beginnings- this was a great two-parter that I'm really glad we got. Only problem with it is that it just wasn't built and brings the pacing to an immediate halt.Least Favorite Episode: Peacekeepers- do I even need to explain this one?Overall Book 2 is a boring and poorly written mess. I enjoyed a lot of aspects of it, but the bad stuff is really bad, and it just doesn't live up to its full potential. 4.5/10.Book 3: ChangeBook 3 is where things are really turned around. After Korra kept the portals to the spirit world open during Harmonic Convergence in the Book 2 finale, spirits and humans are now learning to coexist with each other once again. One added side effect of this was that it somehow gave different nonbenders from across the world the ability to airbend. That...doesn't really make sense, but it does provide an interesting story for this season. So now Korra, along with Mako, Bolin, Asami, Tenzin, Bumi, and Jinora are headed on a 'round the world trip to try and rebuild the Ari Nomads and keep an entire culture from going extinct. There's a downside to this unfortunately. First off, not a lot of the new airbenders aren't up to except everything that comes with their new abilities. And second, one of the many people to gain airbending is a man called Zaheer. A dangerous anarchist and the leader of the Red Lotus. A broken off part of the White Lotus group from the first series. After escaping prison, Zaheer frees the rest of his Red Lotus buddies, each of which with badass bending skills of their own, and together they set out to rid the world of its governments. So it's up to Korra to stop them before they plunge the entire world into chaos.The conflict is definitely a lot more interesting this season, and thank god the pacing is a lot better, especially during the 2nd half of the season where there's of intense and well paced action. And the characters are a lot better this season. Korra is finally a likeable protagonist, Mako isn't a boring jackass, Bolin officially became my favorite character this season (that bit with him wearing a false mustache while trying to convince airbenders to come to the Air Temples had me laughing my ass off), Asami, while she probably got the least development this season, had a number of fun scenes with Korra, seeing Tenzin try his hardest to restore the Air Nomads is interesting but it seems no one wants to fully commit to the cause, and you kinda feel bad for him. Lin finally gets some character development when we meet her sister, and we learn that Toph...kinda sucked at parenting. Since she was so restrained by her own parents, Toph gave her own children a bit too much freedom. This caused Lin and her sister, Suyin, to have to resolve out their problems on their own which...didn't go very well. Varrick is still great, along with Bumi and Kya. Jinora gets a lot of focus this season and instead of being a deus ex machina like in Book 2, she's actually given more character here, and even gets a love interest.Speaking of which, one of the new characters we meet is Kai. Kai started off pretty unlikeable, but gets a lot more interesting as the season goes on to the point where I was kinda disappointed we barely saw him in Book 4. Su is really interesting. She a lot more free spirit compared to her sister, and she's a lot of fun to watch. Her children are all fun and memorable in their own way. Opal in particular is great and her relationship with Bolin is so adorable. We also meet older Zuko in this season. Which was really cool, although it's odd that they waited till now to even bring up the fact that he's even still alive and not even the Fire Lord at this point. While he doesn't serve much of a role in this season, seeing my favorite character from the first series was nice, and that bit where Korra tells him that she met his uncle was really touching.But the real standouts of this season are Zaheer and his cronies. Zaheer, voiced by Henry Rollins, is anarchism personified. You can really get behind his ideals. Like Amon, he's not entirely in the wrong. He's right when he points out how the rulers and governments of the Avatar world have brought about a lot of bad things. Most notably when Firelord Sozin nearly drove the Air Nomads to extinction. It's also really cool to see an airbending villain in this universe which is something I'd never thought I'd see. His crew is scary as shit and are some of the most badass villains I've ever seen in a cartoon.Book 3 is the first season to not have a finale that had a solid buildup, but an underwhelming conclusion. The finale was great. The final battle between Korr and Zhaeer was fan-f*cking-tastic, and easily one of the best fight scenes in the show. The finale kinda ends on a depressing note. The battle is one, the day is saved, and celebrations are had, but it is not without its consequences.Favorite Episode: The Ultimatum and Enter the Void- two equally epic episodes with tons of epic action that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.Least Favorite Episode: A Breath of Fresh Air- a pretty meh start to the season, but the rest of the episodes of Book 3 make up for it.Overall this was a great season. Not much else to say about it other than it's worth getting through Book 2 to see. 8.5/10.Book 4: Balance3 years have passed since the events of Book 3. Thanks to Zaheer, the Earth Kingdom is in shambles, but there is someone trying to cleanup this one horse kingdom: Kuvira. A strict but seemingly well meaning metal bender who used to be part of the Metal Clan, but after the events of Book 3, she struck out on her own, and took many others with her. Bolin, Varrick, and his assistant Zhu Li are now working for her. As well as Suyin's son, Baatar Jr.. Who Kuvira happens to be now engaged with. To Su's disappointment. Opal isn't too happy about Bolin working for Kuvira either. Why? Well as it we figure out pretty quickly, Kuvira is forcing the Eath Kingdom to become united under her. Believing that she is the only one fit to command this great and chaotic land, and soon she will do the same to the rest of the world (more on that later). Anyway, the other world leaders notice how more drastic Kuvira is becoming, and her plans get even worse when she forces Varrick to use spirit vines to craft what is quite possibly the deadliest weapon in the Avatar universe. Both Varrick and Bolin realize that Kuvira is nuts and soon escape and warn the rest of Team Avatar. Speaking of which, one has to wonder where Korra is right? Well as it turns out, 6 months before the beginning of Book 4 during the 3 year time gap, Korra left the South Pole to wander the world. This is because, despite getting help from Katara, and finally getting out of a wheelchair, Korra is still having trouble with the physical and mental scars left over from when Zaheer poisoned her, and nearly killed her in the Avatar State. Which I remind you would wipe out the Avatar for good. Luckily, Korra has some much needed help in the form of none other than Toph Beifong. Who is now a hermit living in a swamp. Toph helps Korra get back on her feet, metaphorically speaking, and helps her find some inner peace so she can get what's left of the poison out of her. So Korra can finally take on Kuvira in one of the most epic battles in either series.This is also where the show's somewhat infamous clipshow episode. Remembrances. Basically Nick decide to say "f*ck you" to the show's creators and cut their budget, and then tell them that they either do a clipshow episode or fire a bunch of their animators. Mike and Brian obviously went with the former, and while I actually did like the clipshow episode, it not only didn't hold a candle to Ember Island Players, but it led to the episode after being good, but also feeling rushed, because they weren't given that extra episode to flesh things out just a little more.This is the season where Korra became one of my favorite characters on the show. Her arc is fascinating and interesting. In the episode Korra Alone, while not nearly as good as Zuko Alone, is still a great episode that shows a vulnerable young woman who feels like she has let everyone around her down. And Janet Varney's performance makes it all the better. Mako also becomes one of my favorite characters in this season. He actually gains more of a personality and his scenes with Prince Wu are hilarious. Bolin was great in Book 3 and he's great here as well. Still funny and still really endearing. He's at his best with the returning Varrick. Varrick is awesome in this season. He's not just hilarious, but he actually gets some character development. We learn in this season that, while Varrick is a sleezball who will charm you before he screws you over, he's not a total idiot. Like I said, he's got a silver tongue and is a genius inventor, and uses both of those traits to their full potential this season. And of course, you can bet I loved THAT scene with him and Zhu Li, who also getw some development. You know the one. Asami gets this amazing subplot with her father. It wasn't really necessary to bring him back, but it was still good to see him again. Tenzin and his family takes a bit more a backseat unfortunately which was the only thing about this season that I didn't like. Tenzin, Pema, and Bumi don't actually do a whole lot, and Kya doesn't show up at all besides a quick cameo. Their kids thankfully become a lot more likeable this season. Jinora is once again interesting, Ikki is actually given a character this season, and Meelo is actually funny. I especially enjoy the running gag with him secretly being a great artist.As for the new characters, Toph is still awesome, Prince Wu goes from being more annoying than Ronaldo Fryman to an actually likeable character, and Baatar Jr. is actually given some development since I found him to be pretty forgettable in Book 2. Also, we get introduced to Zuko's daughter, Firelord Izumi. In the only scene where she actually has some dialogue, we learn that, ironically, Zuko appears to be the only member of the original Team Avatar who didn't kinda suck at parenting. From what we got, it seems like Aang, Katara, and Toph were all neglectful of their children. Sokka...that's a different story.And then of course, there's Kuvira. We first met Kuvira in Book 3 where she was a pretty much a minor character, but you could tell we were going to see more of her. I mean you don't get someone like Zelda Williams to play a character on your show, and not have her play any significant roles. To put it lightly, Kuvira is f*cking terrifying. She's smart, crafty, manipulative, and is a master of intimidation. If you don't do what she says, then your ass is getting a serous beatdown. She is one of the most intimidating villains in the Avatar universe. She actually gives Azula a run for her money. She forces her rule on all others, and firmly believes that she is the only one one who is fit to correct the world of Avatar, and bring order and to the chaos. She's been compared to some real life dictators, but personally, the person she reminds me of the most is Firelord Sozin. Think about it. In a flash back scene we find out that Su was given the chance to become the new ruler of the Earth Kingdom, but turned it down because she didn't want to come off as a conqueror and force her ideals upon the rest of the kingdom. Kuvira disagrees with her. She sees how prosperous Zaofu has become and wants to share their progress with the rest of the earth Kingdom. Possibly even the world. Now I mean this in a good way, but that is literally the exact same conversation Avatar Roku had with Firelord Sozin in the first series! I was in shock when I realized this because we've seen what these kind of ideals can lead to, and that thought is horrifying.The finale, for the most part, was great. I laughed, I almost cried, and the battle against Kuvira's giant mech was awesome! A giant platinum megazord feels like a good final threat for this series. Given that it went for a very steampunk feel, so I can buy a giant robot showing up. The only thing I didn't like about the finale is that, unlike several other cartoon finales of the 2010's, like the ones for Adventure Time, Phineas and Ferb, Regular Show, and Steven Universe, it feels like some of the characters weren't given a proper final scene. I'm particularly referring to the wedding scene which, while sweet no doubt, it felt kinda rushed. Although, given how much Nickelodeon screwed over the show's staff, I can understand why. As for Korrasami, I didn't have a problem with it. I kinda wish it was set up better this season, but for what it's worth, given how much the creator's had to go through to get that final scene in the episode, I thought it was cute, and I think they make a solid couple. And I respect the show a lot because of this given that we weren't really used to seeing that kind of representation in cartoons at that point. As opposed to now where you can find LGBTQ+ representation all over the place. Point is, I'll tale Asami over Korra awkwardly getting with Mako or Bolin any day.So yeah, Book 4 was fantastic. And in my opinion, both it and Book 3 hold a place right alongside Book's 2 and 3 of Last Airbender. 9/10.Final Thoughts:So is The Legend of Korra better or as good as The Last Airbender? No. It's messy, it doesn't always makes sense, and the characters take a while to warm up to. Is it still a great show? Hell yeah! Legend of Korra had a lot to live up, and while not every aspect of it lived up to the hype, and it still tried its best to be a great follow-up to a legendary series. I love the characters, I love a lot of the mature themes the show brings up, the villains are interesting and complex (with a few exceptions), and like the first series, it handles its tone balance perfectly (most of time). The show just feels a lot more sophisticated and mature than a lot of other Nickelodeon shows from the 2010's. Then again, it's not like it had a lot of competition given how Nick's show compared to those on Cartoon Network and Disney during the 2010's. In terms of new shows, there was Korra, Ninja Turtles 2012, Rise of the TMNT, Harvey Beaks, and Loud Louse, and that was it in terms of shows from Nick that were actually good in the 2010's. At least in my opinion.But anyway, The Legend of Korra was more like multiple miniseries rather than one long cohesive story like Last Airbender. From what I've learned about the show from fans who watched it when it aired on tv, this can basically be attributed to Nickelodeon. Yeah, apparently, Nick really screwed over this show on multiple occasions. This ultimately ended up hurting the show. Deadlines not being met, Nick and the show's creators not agreeing on stuff, the show taking forever to get greenlit, Nick not thinking shows with female leads can be successful (yes because lets pretend Zoey 101, ICarly, and My Life as a Teenage Robot never happened), Nick just eventually dumping the episodes online, it just sounds like working on this show was a pretty miserable experience at times. And you can tell Nick had no faith in this show because I saw the advertising for this show back when it was still airing and it failed pretty miserably to get me interested in watching it. This caused the show's pacing to kinda be all over the place. Sometimes things were going too slow, other times they were moving too fast, but in the end, you can't blame the people working on the show because Nickelodeon kept screwing them over.I honestly feel bad for Mike and Brian. They've created such a unique world with two great shows, and despite how much passion they have for it, companies like Nickelodeon, and more recently, Netflix, never give them the creative freedom they deserve. Whether they end up creating a new and original show one day, or end up making a third Avatar series, I really do hope things get better for them. As for now, I am satisfied with both Last Airbender and Legend of Korra. Legend of Korra is far from perfect and I can see why a lot of people hated this show with passion, but even if you did, I think we can all agree it at least deserved better treatment from the network it aired on. The show managed to expand on the world of Avatar in ways I didn't even expect. There was clearly a lot of heart and passion put into it, and for the most part, it paid off. As a whole, I'll give it a solid 8/10. Do the thing and give it a watch.With all of that said, have a great night, be safe, and take care.
Mega Man Archie Comics #17-18 Review,Well, we've gone through 4 major 4 part story arcs in this comic at this point. While those kinds of stories are great and all, it's nice to take a break once in a while and tell some smaller stories in between to keep things interesting. We'll be starting off with a two-parter that will cover the origins of Mega Man's older brother, and fan-favorite character, Proto Man. We've gotten hints to him in previous issues. Starting with Dr. Light mentioning in issue #2, all the way to Blues joining Wily as Break Man in issue #16. And now the time has come to get the full story. So what is the origin of the future Proto Man? Buckle up, folks. It's gonna be a bumpy ride.,Summary: We open at Light Labs. All is normal. Dr. Light is working on Rush, and Rock stumbles something interesting while cleaning up the database. Rock ask an important question. Who is "DLN-000: Blues"? The story's not wasting any time in giving us what we want is it?Anyway, Dr. Light decides to finally come out with and says that Blues is Rock's older brother. Naturally, Rock is excited and asks when he gets to meet him, but Dr. Light, noticeably upset, says that Rock will never be able to meet Blues. Saying that Blues was his greatest triumph and greatest failure.Backstory time!Dr. Light begins telling his tale, and we flashback to the past where Dr. Light was younger, more naive and still considered Dr. Wily a friend. And the two have finished construction on Blues. Wily questions why a robot Dr. Light was contracted to build for the military looks so much like a young man? Dr. Light responds by saying that his eventual Robot Master will be more battle capable, among other things, while Blues merely serves as a prototype and his son. And thus will stay with him. We also get a nice bit where we learn Wily resent being bald, despite Light's hair going grey long before him. It's actually kinda nice to see the two bonding before their eventual fallout.As Blue wakes up, Dr. Light greets him with open arms. Literally! Light is simply amazed at how self-aware Blues is only seconds after being activated. Wily on the other hand is busy taking notes for the eventual weapons. That's all well and good, but first, Light needs to give Blues some culture.,Insert your own montage music here because we then see Light and Blues traveling around the city seeing the sights. Art, music, nature, and more. Among these panels, we see how Blues got his yellow scarf, a funny with Blues' hair covering some...revealing art in a museum, what looks to be a young Detective Stern, and Dr. Light giving Blues his iconic sunglasses. One of the big rules of the Mega Man franchise? We can never see Blues' eyes. At least not fully. All joking aside, this is a sweet montage. It really allows for us to understand their relationship, and see just how much they connect as father and son. Remember this. It'll be important later.Despite present Light believing himself to be too enthusiastic, he did notice Blues was taking it all surprisingly well. We then see that, while Blues is sweeping up the lab, he's whistling a familiar tune. Where have I heard it before?,
https://youtu.be/wt4UpLez4FcDr. Light asks where he heard it, but Blues says he came up with it himself. Dr. Light is once again impressed, but we are then reminded of the other reason Blues was built as we cut to a military testing ground. The military needs their battle robots if Dr. Light wants his funding. Dr. Light and the military contractors witness Blues in action. Dr. Light even provides him with a helmet, and he even comes with his own buster. It seems to be going well at first, but then something seems to be going wrong. Yes, things take a turn for the worst when Blues begins to short out, leaving him open to fire from the smaller battle robots.Naturally, Light panics and stops the test. When asked what went wrong, Light explains that Blues' is experimental, and his systems require a lot of power. And the output demanded was pushed too far. The military guys discuss. For the most part, they like what they see, but are concerned about the power failure. They ultimately decide they can work out the bugs later and produce simpler models that require less power. So they decide to keep funding Light's research, and they'll get back to him in a while when he's got a simpler model. While Light may have gotten his money, it came at a price.Back at the lab, Blues wakes up after recharging to hear Light and Wily discussing the incident. Wily wants to do the modifications on Blues, but Light flat out says no. Claiming that Blues is his son and he should be the one to fix him, and Wily was banned from directly working on advanced robotics anyway. While Wily designed Blues' arm cannon and power core, Light installed it. Wily tells him he did it wrong, believing that's what caused the power failure. Right as Blues walks into the room.,Naturally, he has questions, and Light explains that there's a flaw in his power core, and if not fixed, Blues will die. Light says he'll just simply redesign the core, but Wily points out that Light might bungle it and accidentally erase Blues' personal coding. After the two bicker some more, Light tells Blues to go hook himself back up so his power remains stable until he can fix it in the morning. As Blues walks off, we see the conversation had a bit of an effect on the robo kid.This is where it all changes.As we see later that night, Dr. Light in bed video chatting with a young Noelle Lalinde. All while Blues is listening in on them. Noelle reminds Light that he gave Blues the closest thing a robot can have to will, and he's going to use it. Dr. Light understands, but he wants Blues to make rational and logical decisions. But Noelle points out that no one really thinks logically when their life is in danger, or faced with their own mortality.Here comes the moment that forever changes the relationship between Thomas Light and Blues. Dr. Light admits that it would be easier if he just rewrote that rebellious streak out of Blues. In other words: change his personality.,Blues...doesn't take it well to say the least, and storms off before he can hear Dr. Light take back what he said. Even if he did hear it, I doubt it would do much. The damage is done, and Blues decides to run away. With tears in his eyes, he packs his things and smashes a photo of him and Light before leaving.We cut back to the present with Light finishing his story and regretting everything he said and did that led to Blues leaving. Rock, being the optimist he is, wants to go out and finds Blues. But Light says that, by now, Blues' power core would have gone off. Our final shot of the main story sees Blues walking through the rain while Dr. Light wonders what happened to the robo boy after that night.Yes, I said the main story.Backup Story Summary: Allow me to summarize the comic's first backup story. Don't worry, this one has a lighter tone to brighten our spirits.It begins on a rainy night with Dr. Light, Rock, and Roll, visiting Guts Man at a construction site for a new dam. They've brought extra help. Meet the comic debut of DLN-065 aka Concrete Man. Guts Man initially declines, boastfully saying he doesn't need any help, but Light reminds him of the heavy rain and the possibility of a flash flood. As the three leave the two Robot Masters, the two immediately start bickering.We get a pretty funny montage of the two messing with each other as they keep construction going. But their bickering keeps them from finishing the dam quick enough to stop it from leaking. The two decide to put aside their differences and work together. Guts Man holds it in place while Concrete Man seals it, and they do it just in time to finish the dam before it breaks. After a job well done, they decide to celebrate.The Light Family returns to find the dam completed, but Guts Man and Concrete Man missing. Where are they you ask? Why they're singing karaoke! Hallelujah!Thoughts: Let's start with the backup story first. The story itself is pretty simple. It's your typical buddy comedy. Rookie and veteran don't get along, but then when times get tough, they pull through and save the day. But we know the real reason this backup story was made. We have the comic debut of another Robot Master long before their game adaption. This time it's Concrete Man. A Mega Man 9 Robot Master. Considering that game's plot, it's only natural he appears so early on. And don't be surprised to see more Robot Masters from that game appear later on in the comic as well. Also, Roll's wearing one of her outfits from Mega Man: Powered Up. Neat! The art is done by Jamal Peppers. Whose style you'll probably recognize from the Sonic comics, and as usual it's pretty great. I'll give the backup story a 7/10. While nothing special, it introduced Concrete Man, and it provided some laughs after that emotional rollercoaster that was the main story.Ah, the main story. This one issue alone showcases just how good of a writer Ian Flynn is when given enough material to work with. Once again, he shows that he does his homework. Blues's origin is compiled of various pieces of source material that allowed fans to put together Proto Man's backstory in the games since the games never really went into full detail about the character's backstory. There was never a big cutscene to give us the full story. In the game's the gist of it is Dr. Light constructs the first robot with independent thinking capabilities. Dubbed: Proto Man, or Blues in Japan. Though he was a prototype, he exceeded greatly beyond Dr. Light's expectations. However, his energy core had a critical problem that would eventually destroy him. Proto Man feared the modification would change his personality and character and refused to have Dr. Light meddle with his systems and he ran off. Dr. Light presumed Proto Man died and gave up on him. Eventually, he learned from his mistakes, and he perfected the energy core and created two new robots, Rock and Roll, to be his children, and help him with the housework and 6 other advanced robots. You know the rest of that story. Proto Man's design eventually became the basis of the Sniper Joe series. (In Mega Man: Powered Up, it was revealed Proto Man has a deep hatred for the Sniper Joe series because of this.)The same story applies here, but with some new details added to make a 2 issue story around it. In the comic, Light built Blues specifically for not just being his son, but also to get the funding he needed for Light Labs. This was actually briefly mentioned way back in issue #1. Where Light said that while he believes violence should only be used as a last resort, he had to build weapons in the past to get the money and notoriety he needed for Light Labs to become what it is today. There's also Wily working with Dr. Light when they were still friends. Wily being banned from directly working on robotic experiments is also brought up. Something that was also established in issue #1. Dr. Light's conversation with Noelle would eventually be expanded on in the previous story arc. Light even considers their video chats as debates. We also get a brief nod to the eventual creation of Tempo aka Quake Woman. Finally, while in the games it's implied that accidentally getting his personality reset alone was enough to scare off Blues, in the comic, while Blues disagreed with it, it seemed like he was willing to accept the hand fate had dealt him, but it was ultimately what Light said about him within earshot that was the straw that broke the camel's back. To a human, it'd be the equivalent of getting a heart surgery, but as payment, you have to get a lobotomy. What makes this so tragic is that we got a good enough understanding of their relationship, and we saw them bond together. I'm willing to bet Blues' iconic whistle was inspired by the concert they went to. Dr. Light, while he didn't mean what he said, is still somewhat at fault here. Even he admits that he showed Blues too much of the world too fast. Pushing his beliefs on the boy without taking time to consider what Blues would want. Wily bringing up the flawed power core and the chances of Blues not only losing his personality but dying as well, wasn't helping things either. This whole situation could be compared to said faulty power core. Blues was pushed and pushed until he reached his breaking point, and left in a damaged state. Maybe not physically, but emotionally? Oh yeah. This is all helped by artist Chad Thomas. Without a doubt his best work on the book I've seen. As for my score? I rarely give this score to anything I review, because the movie, tv-show, episode, comic, or whatever it is I'm reviewing has to hit all the right notes. While there can be problems, what matters is that those problems don't affect my overall enjoyment. Really my only complaint is that I do wish we saw a bit more into Blues' head and that he had a bit more doubt in Dr. Light initially, but ended up trusting him anyway. That way the moment when he thinks that trust is broken, it had a bit more foreshadowing. But again, what we got in the issue was still enough for me, and was enough to get me invested. With that said, I'm giving issue #17 of Mega Man a 10/10.So what was the fate of Blues? And how did he end up in the hands of Dr. Wily?,Summary: Well we pick up right where we left off. Blues is on his own, with nothing but E-Tanks, and borrowed time. He's decided to live his finals days as Blues then live forever as someone he's not. As he walks through the city, he tries to make polite conversation with some fellow robots, but because they aren't as advanced as he is, and because he's the prototype Robot Masters, he's mistaken for a regular human kid. Insert your own Pinocchio references here, folks. For all his faults, Light sure knows how to build a life-like robot.Speaking of Dr. Light, we see back at the lab, he's not taking Blues' absence very well. Dr. Wily isn't helping when he points out that the lab is a mess, and finds the money from the military, but when he sees just how torn up Light is, we see why the two were such good friends in the past. Dr. Wily brings Light's spirits back up when he says that he needs to finish those less advanced combat robots for the military, and naming them after those army joes. With the money they get from the Joes, they can achieve Light's real dream. Building the Robot Masters. And Wily agrees to help, saying that he can find a loop-hole around his ban. But Light still wants to build children separate from the Robot Masters. Despite Wily still not seeing the point, Light is snapped back to his old self, and the two agree to work together.The rest, as they say, is history.,Back with Blues, he realizes that he's too advanced for both the current robots and the humans. It'll be a while before any other robots like him are built. Given the nature of his power core, he deduces that as long as he maintains minimal output, he should last for a long time. Cue a family being harassed by bikers. Blues immediately springs into action. One ass-kicking to the "green biker dude" and his gang later, and the family is saved. The family is thankful, and Blues is glad to have helped, but he's quickly reminded about reserving his power.Not helped by a montage of him saving various people taking place over the course of what I assume is a couple of years. My best estimate is at least a year and a half. 2 or 3 years at the most. Blues eventually runs out of E-Tanks and is only able to keep himself alive after quick naps, but he receives less and less energy each time he wakes up. Blues knows his death is only a short time away and realizes he can't stop it.HE can't stop it, but he knows who can. Blues realizes that if Dr. Light gave him life, form, a purpose, a name, and his love, then why would he ever risk his well-being? With newfound confidence, he runs back home. So yes, Blues has finally come back to his senses. He's going home where he'll be welcomed with open arms. Right?Right?,Weeeeell, remember that shot of Blues looking through the window of Light Labs back in issue #8. Yeeeeah. I don't think I need to elaborate any further. (And for bonus points, but issues are drawn by Chad Thomas.)Blues wanders back into the lonely world, sad and feeling rejected and replaced. Along with breaking his glasses. He decides to not spend his last days sulking, but rather find a suitable place for him to die. He sees on the news information about a place called the Landfront Ruins. A place that's, as Blues puts it, "a machine graveyard removed from man". And conveniently Dr. Wily's current location.,As Blues makes it, he reflects on his life as believes he's dying. In reality, it's just the E.M. field. Either way, Blues reflects on how he lived his life his way. Made choices all his own. And before he collapses, he goes out by whistling that iconic tune. With that, it seems the end of Blues has come. Or has it?Blues wakes to see Dr. Wily. Not just him, but Ra Moon, and the Mega Man 2 Robot Masters. Half of them anyway.Before we close out, we still have a backup story. Oh boy.Backup Story Summary: We find Ice Man in what I assume is the artic. He needs help with assisting some scientists with expansions to a research center. The person he calls in to help? Guts Man. Ice Man explains that he's been helping the research team study a glacier, but due to the changes in the environment, the glacier's movements have doubled over the past few years. Being a construction robot, he finds Ice Man's explanation of the situation boring and quickly assumes that the glacier needs to be destroyed before it destroys the research center. The thick-headed robot punches his way through the problem and doesn't listen to Ice Man when he tries to explain the glacier is only moving a few inches per year. As Guts man continues to refuse to listen, Ice Man puts an end to it. Cut to later, and Ice Man is calling Dr. Light, who's polishing a very familiar-looking helmet, and asks him to send someone to pick up the now frozen Guts Man.Thoughts: Let's get this out of the way. I didn't care for the backup story. Like the previous backup story, it's trying to lighten our spirits with some comedy, but in my opinion, it didn't work. It's not funny. it boils down to one joke. I could've summarized this in one sentence if I wanted to. "Guts Man won't listen to Ice Man when trying to help solve a problem, and Ice Man freezes him." The end. In my opinion, Guts Man was made way too stupid in this story. I get that Guts Man isn't exactly the brightest robot out there, but he's still a wiz when it comes to construction. When push comes to shove, he buckles down and gets the job done. As shown in the last backup story. Ice Man isn't any better. He should've known someone as thick-headed as Guts man would've found his explanation boring, and should've explained in a quicker and more timely fashion. Oh but then it wouldn't have been a comedy would it? Hardy har har. The only thing about this backup story that I actually enjoyed was the art by Jamal Peppers and a brief foreshadowing of Splash Woman. Another Mega Man 9 Robot Master. Who we will see more of later. I hate to do this because this backup story had potential, but my score for it is a 5/10. It's not the worst piece of comedy I've ever seen, but in all honesty, it just didn't work for me.Ok, time for the meat of the issue. We get the other half of Blues' backstory. Where we see how he ended up in the hands of Dr. Wily within the realms of the comics. It's not different than how he ended up with Wily in the games. In the games, Wily found him collapsed and dying, and then replaced his standard solar core with a nuclear one. In the comics, Blues collapsed, but not due to his core, rather the E.M. field created by Ra Moon. And was found by Wily's Robot Masters rather than the doctor himself. Speaking of which, I appreciate that Wily was able to lift Light's spirits. Goes to show that he use to be not all bad. That said, one has to wonder what it would be like if Dr. light treated Wily and Blues better. Given the events of Mega Man 11, and what was revealed, probably not too different in Wily's case.Blues' tale continues to be a tearjerker. I'll admit, when I first read this issue, seeing Blues walk away from light Labs nearly got me to cry. Nearly. When Blues understands Light can and would fix him, his hopes are dashed and his hatred grows larger when he sees that Light "replaced him" with Rock and Roll. Now thinking Light doesn't really care about him. Now if the E.M. field didn't get to him first, he still more than likely would've actually shut down for good soon enough. Blues admits that he would've lasted longer if he hadn't exerted himself so much by helping so many people. That just goes to show that he was built with Light's love for helping people, and was more than likely program with a need to appreciate life. And his actions foreshadow his eventual role as Proto Man. Someone who helps out when he can, and then moves on. In a way, Blues really did die when he reached the Landfront Ruins, and someone new was born when Wily restored him.There are some other subtle references here and there, such as the eventual creation of the Sniper Joes, the green biker dude being the fan nickname to the Reploid who rode by X's side in the opening to Mega Man X2, only to lose his life. Also, I should point out that we have a continuity error. Wily is in his scientist getup when Blues wakes up in his new lab. In issue #16, he was in his jungle outfit. Whether or not this is a fault of Ian Flynn or Chad Thomas, it's still a minor mistake. Once again, the art by Chad Thomas is great, and once again, I'm giving the issue a 10/10. For all the same reasons I gave the last issue a 10 out of 10. And so the origins of the future Proto Man have been concluded. This two-part story as a whole really does show why I love this comic so much. Like the Sonic the Hedgehog comic, it expands on the world of the games, and both introduce and fleshed out characters beyond the games. Some people I know prefer these versions of the characters over the game versions. If that's not proof of this book's greatness, I don't know what is.I'm ending things off here for now. Because the next time I review the Mega Man comics, I'm going to be covering 4 self-contained stories. Each one meant to expand the world of Mega Man and flesh out the characters.Until next time, be safe, and take care my fellow Blue Bombers.
Story: Remzilla's HeistIn the abandon building part of the town of Burnel, the self-proclaim “Rem-zilla” was enjoying his new large & in-charge size. His massive paws boomed throughout the empty streets, his long thick tail swaying with his movements, though when they “gently” stroke a nearby building, it did left an impressionable imprint on the bricks and mortar.The sizeable stoat was enjoying this. He was ready to stomp a tiny 2-story building flat but then he notice some from the corner of his eye. It was the business district of town, and just around the corner was small bank. Just simple branch office to deposit and withdraw. But it was a place with money, so naturally it had Rem’s attention, even as a giant, and made him stop from pressing down his massive foot paw on the crumbling building.His enlarged ears could hear his brother making his way towards him, but being of normal size, he was still some time off from actually be there. Rem also could make out those 2 mice, Cas and Pol, the later of who made Rem into lovely large form as of now with his “Shrinky-Dink”… much likely to reverse the effect it did to him earlier…“Hmm… maybe I should make take this time and make it count for a score…”Rem then stepped over the building to the next street behind it, making his pursuers to go around and take even longer to follow him and ruin his fun. From there, Rem spotted an old blank billboard sign that hug on an old department story building, and right by the bank, was the paint store, complete with giant novelty pain bucket display for show.This will work well with Rem’s plan.Taking the billboard and the novelty paint-bucket of black paint, Rem moved over to the side of the bank. Naturally, it was a bank holiday, so it was closed and empty… but it still had money, and that’s all that matters. Rem and Rom always did find the clerks rather snooty, even when they try to make legal withdrawals with personal special “friends” who wanted to give them a good sum of cash for being great close friends of theirs within the spend of 25 minutes of knowing the 2 stoats.Rem dunk the tip of his titan of a tail in the paint bucket (cause whats the point of showing off a giant pain bucket if it was empty?) and began to make a decent likeness of the bank onto the billboard’s canvas. Rem was sure it was worthy of a Smiley-Face Sticker, even though his talent was foraging half-decent signatures on deeds and checks.After making his 5-minute masterpiece, Rem was ready to take on the 2nd biggest feat for him for the day. Normally, his bother Rom was the better stretcher/ensnarer of them, but Rem with his newfound size and mass, could easily out do his show-off brother. Moving from the waist up, Rem stretch his torso at the base of the empty bank, turning around each corner of it until he came back to where he started, to which he looped around the building again. He had plenty of extra mass to spare as he heard his body groan deeply as he made several turns around the building.In a short amount of time, Rem managed to encase the ENTIRE outside of the bank within his yellow sweater. He then began to shift his body mass to make sure he had a real good tight grip on it, but not too much to which to crush it. Even with his thicken fur, skin, and body mass, it was rather snug fit for him, as though he was hugging a well-made doll house, with some minor pointy sides he tried to be mindful of.“Okay… time for the hard part,” Rem said to himself as he prep himself for this part, “One. Two. THREE!”Rem then began to lift the bank off from it foundation, using his back to lift it. Grunting from the strain, Rem made sure to his lowest coil of his body secured the whole building, while making sure his coiled around the sides kept it steady and straight, while not applying too much pressure to crush the thing. A little trick he learned from a naga instructor from his college years…Inside the bank, the whole movement made the building groan and creaked as Rem’s thick clothes, fur, and skin pressed up around it. Even though Rem was careful with the pressure he was applying, the bank’s reinforced structure and windows were just BARELY holding up against the massive mustelid’s mass. If there was someone in there, they would hear a deep pounding noise reverbing from the upper corner of the building where Rem’s huge heart was beating as he performed this literal bank heist.Not only did Rem had to mind his body pressure on the building, but also made sure to factor in how he lifted the whole thing up a few stories into the sky, like some sort of reverse rope crane. A slight tilt on his part could result in tossed papers or a toppled water cooler in the breakroom. With all things considered, this was the best outcome for Rem to have. He didn’t had to worry about pesky power lines since this was a newer model bank, with underground cables… and built in power generator, so even separated, Rem can still see the lights and (more importantly) the ATMs and computers where still running, ripe for hacking, from the skylight on top of the bank.Even with his reinforced bodily mass and ability to move like rubber, Rem felt a HUGE strain on his lower back from this lifting method. Fearing of ruining his ability to stretch and his health in general, Rem quickly but gently lowered himself and his cargo back on his lower torso; much like a snake would coil upon itself. Rem kept sure to control and even out his body mass for this part, not to just topple over or lose the ability work with the bank he now ensnared around. This was tricky, even for him; as there was rarely a need to do such a feat within Rem’s line of “work”, but he manage to make his legs still functional while his tail took on more mass to help keep his balance. The only real victim to all of this was the road and sidewalk, which were criminally under-code for an enormous ermine to enjoy casual stroll.Grabbing his billboard art piece, Rem placed it in the spot where the real bank. Nobody would doubt this was the real thing at all, especially not with the fun little sun Rem drew on there.Rem then picked up the bucket of paint, hid it behind his coil back. He might have future jobs with it… or just for a fun casual painting session. He did have his hobbies.With nothing to trace him to this scene, Rem began to whistle innocently as took a light stroll away from the 100% real bank, leaving only foot thumps, paw-craters, paint-splatters from his tail-tip, and small loose dirt & debris from bank’s loose foundation.Rem was in the clear… until he spotted his brother Rem the twin Siamese mice standing just a few yards away, all three of them giving him a harsh glare…Rem just stood there, looking down at them.“What?” he said innocently with his loud bass voice while shrugging, which was also rather loud too.,