Based on the Japanese light novels by Reki Kawahara, Sword Art Online portrays an interesting perspective on the concept of virtual reality. When I first discovered this anime, I did not know what to expect. However, when I watched it, I was amazed by the amazing animation and special effects as well as the unique characters that move the story along. In many ways, this anime reminds me of The Matrix Trilogy in that the characters’ minds are transferred into a computer-generated world and that if they die in the computer world, they die for real. In particular, I had a keen interest in the relationship between Kazuto Kirigaya (Kirito) and Asuna Yuuki (Asuna). Before watching the anime, I wasn’t a fan of romance stories and never truly understood what romantic love was, but after watching Kirito and Asuna interact with one another throughout the series, I started crying, which is something I do not do very often. As for villains, Akihiko Kayaba is what I would categorize as a morally ambiguous character, neither good nor bad despite all the blood he had shed. On the other hand, Sugo Nobuyuki was a completely hateful character who reminded me in many ways of Joffrey “Baratheon” from Game of Thrones and when Kirito defeated him twice, I just had to watch those scenes over and over. Overall, I would recommend this anime to anyone who is looking for stories that portray characters finding themselves in unexpected situations and emerge from those experiences as changed characters.
Written by Dan Jurgens, when I first read this graphic novel, it broke my heart that one of the most beloved superheroes was being critically injured during the fight of his life. Still, there were numerous cases where Superman was portrayed as all but invincible. With that in mind, it was satisfactory to see Superman being pushed to his limits as he battles the monster Doomsday. That way, Superman would have a more human side to him when engaged in extreme combat. I believe that every superhero has their own ultimate villain that pushes them to their limits. With Batman, his ultimate villain is Bane while Superman’s is Doomsday.
Written by Geoff Johns, this graphic novel introduces the reader to a new look into the origins of one of the most famous superhero teams of all time, the Justice League! I was pleased that the roster of the founding members was largely the same as the original: Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Batman, Aquaman, and Flash. The only change was including Cyborg instead of the Martian Manhunter. With the Man of Steel film released, I certainly hope that if DC Comics creates a film for this version of the Justice League in the near future. In this graphic novel, the Justice League bands together to fight a powerful enemy that threatens the fate of the entire planet. The artwork is so captivating that it entrances the reader with almost realistic action of good versus evil. I would recommend this work to anyone who seeks to read a truly wondrous superhero story.
Written by Alan Moore, Watchmen invites readers into an alternate reality where superheroes exist. Most of my life, I have known about the classical superhero who has a strong moral compass, but Watchmen introduces me to a new type of superhero that is morally ambiguous. I enjoyed the character, Rorschach because he represented an individual who possessed zero tolerance of evil even in the face of Armageddon. With Doctor Manhattan, I witness a person who wields unlimited power and immortality and as a result becomes detached to the mortals around him. The villain is what I would categorize as a gray character because his intentions to unify the world were good, but the price he was willing to pay to make that happen was too high. I enjoyed the complexities of his plan and the steps he took to make his goal a reality. What this graphic novel shows its audience is that the world is not as black and white as most people think. Instead, it consists of different shades of gray with individuals who are neither good nor evil, but in between. I would recommend this graphic novel for anyone who is searching for an elaborate and intriguing story.
Stan Lee has been widely acknowledged as the founding father of the modern superhero genre as well as the co-creator of many of the superheroes that we all know, such as Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, The Fantastic Four, and so forth. In addition, he has made a cameo appearance in every single film Marvel Studios ever created. For anyone who wishes to learn more about this comic book legend, click here.
Written by Brian K. Vaughan, this amazing graphic novel tells the story of a group of children who discover their parents are secretly an organization of super villains called The Pride. Complete with a unique origin story and a fast-paced plot, the Runaways keeps the reader wondering what will happen next as these children attempt to save the very world their parents are trying to destroy. In addition, the powers and equipment that the children acquire to combat their parents’ evil are very intriguing with a deep sense of variety. When the writer created The Pride, it was enjoyable to see that he based them on all the various archetypes of super villains: crime lords, dark sorcerers, mad scientists, time travelers, alien invaders, and mutants. This story is highly recommended to anyone who would enjoy the superhero genre.