Life is Strange

When we went through the course outline in the beginning of the term, I was very excited to be able to play a video game as a part of the course, because let’s be honest, how often does that happen? Personally, I really enjoy the graphics of Indie games. There’s something about the realism approach in Indie games that make them very unique. Meanwhile, I also really enjoyed the “choose your own adventure” aspect that Life is Strange is based on. I remember reading “choose your own adventure” books when I was younger and I really enjoyed it. Life is Strange was able to combine these two things and overall made the game very intriguing.

If Max didn’t have the ability to rewind time, this game would be kind of boring, but I would still enjoy it from a story standpoint. Life is Strange was able to touch on so many aspects of being a teenager and the struggles and stigmas (whether true or not) that came with it. This game was definitely able to touch on some personal experiences for me, and made it that much more important for me to try to make everything alright.

One thing that stood out to me about this game was that it made me question whether I would want Max’s ability to rewind time, or any ability for that matter. When something goes wrong in the game, my immediate reaction is to try to reverse it, not knowing that this decision could result in a negative outcome in the future. I’ve watched enough movies to know that this is called the “Butterfly Effect”. Furthermore, the quote “With great power comes great responsibilities” has never rang more true.

Overall, I really enjoyed this game, even more so that it was for a university course. When I have the time, I would like to play the game again and see how different things could be, and perhaps observe more details that I may have missed the first time.

Hawkeye #19

Let me start off by saying, I did not think comics could be so unique and diverse. Hawkeye #19 was one of the most intriguing comic issues I have read in this course. The feature of a hero with a disability is one that makes you rethink and redefine the first question proposed in this course of what a hero is. Hawkeye really is just an ordinary guy, he doesn’t have superpowers, he’s not invincible, he’s as human as the rest of us are; that’s what makes this comic so interesting. Sure, he is the greatest sharpshooter known to man, but this seems more like a result of acquired skills and talent; things I’m sure that we all have. This issue felt especially “silent” compared to the rest, not only because of the lack of words, but I also felt that the voice in my brain was lacking when reading this issue.

They say that when someone loses one of their senses, all the other senses are heightened. Hawkeye #19 is a great example of how much depth and how many emotions images can convey. In the beginning of the issue, we are immersed into Clint’s world as a child with a hearing disability by not being able to read what the doctor and his family are saying, but we get a sense that something is heard, just not very clearly. This puts our focus more on the surroundings; we realize that a great sense of isolation is felt by Clint in this scene. Not only as a result of a hearing disability, but also the physical isolation from the rest of the group in the room.

This issue (and the rest of the comic) features a lot of extended transitions; this not only contributes to the feeling of a greater length of time, but also adds to the dramatic atmosphere the author wants to generate. I found it to be effective in what the author wanted to do with these transitions, but I also found it confusing at times to follow the succession of each panel. Overall, I really enjoyed Hawkeye #19, it (along with the ASL lecture we had in class) made me interested in learning ASL. Not only would it allow me to fully understand the messages in this issue, but to also be able to speak and connect with those who use ASL as their primary language of communication.


Week 5 – Batman Animated: Heart of Ice

I’ve always enjoyed watching retro cartoons as a child. This was partly because I only had basic cable and one of the only networks I had was “Teletoon Retro”, but I also grew an appreciation for the older comics. I think that it’s very interesting to see what writers perceived our future would look like. For example, the creators of “The Jetsons” probably thought flying cars would be a very normal occurrence by 2018. While watching “Heart of Ice”, I couldn’t help but notice the design of Batman’s super computer and its control panel. Writers of Batman today would likely design Batman’s technology with touch panels or touch projections, whereas the depiction of Batman’s control panel in “Heart of Ice” was full of buttons and knobs, things we would probably think are out of date if we saw it in a new Batman movie.

Continuing on, the plot of “Heart of Ice” was one that stirred more emotion in me than I was expecting from a 20-minute cartoon. I loved the introduction of the tragic past of Mr. Freeze and what led him to become an evil villain. It gave the audience a much more relatable experience and a very different point of view towards the character. I think that it was really noble of him to do whatever it takes for the love of his life, but the anger of not being able to carry out his plan led him to become bitter towards the world. Moreover, the story behind Mr. Freeze’s origin allowed the audience to reevaluate who the real villain was.

Week 4 – Black Panther

I have to be honest, Black Panther was not the most exciting comic I have read so far. It was a little too wordy for my personal preferences, and the impact and problems that arose with regards to the political side of society was not that interesting to me. However, what I did find interesting were the Biblical connections I was able to make. I connected T’Challa’s story of a fallen and rejected king with the story of Jesus. I also found it hard to follow the plot for a couple reasons; first, the African names for places and characters made it difficult for me to remember who was who and what their significance was. Second, many parallel plot lines jumping back and forth made it difficult to follow all the plots and connect them together.

One quote that stood out to me in Black Panther was “We have proven we can punish the guilty, but can we protect the innocent”. I think this is an interesting quote that not a lot of superhero movies or comics really focus on too much, and I can see why. When I watch superhero movies, I concentrate on how the enemy is defeated, and when this task is done, everything is fine and everyone is happy. This quote made me think back to a lot of these movies I have watched which don’t usually tell us about the aftermath of “the final boss battle” where everything in New York City is destroyed. It usually ends with the hero(es) and civilians walking out from the rubble and celebrating, but we don’t really think about how many innocent people were killed in that battle and how much damage was actually done. I am certainly not saying that you are not allowed to enjoy a good fictional movie without it becoming a moral debate, but it is an interesting thought, and perhaps an area that I think has potential to be further explored.

Week 3 – Ms. Khan

I really enjoyed reading Ms. Marvel this week; I found it very refreshing and new to be able to read about a superhero when they first became something more than who they were. I also think that Ms. Marvel is a good comic book for anyone who is just getting into comics. Stories like Superman and Batman are often so far developed and have been written about for so long that we never really get to see their origin stories. With Kamala Khan, we get to watch her discover the inhuman side of her and we, in a sense, get to live through the experience with her. This really allows for readers to connect with the story’s character and their struggles.

I initially thought that I wouldn’t enjoy this comic very much because I wouldn’t be able to connect with a brown, Muslim girl like Kamala Khan. However, I came to realize that there are so many other ways we can connect with Kamala. While her strict parents and daily curfews didn’t exactly reflect my life growing up, I found it very interesting to parallel her process of becoming Ms. Marvel with my own life. Obviously, I am not inhuman (though of course I’d say that even if I were so), and I am not trying to figure out how to become a superhero (again, I’d say the same), but I do know what it’s like to have to figure out who you are and who you want to become.

When coming to university, I found the community here completely different from my community back home; it’s not a bad thing, it’s just different. I found myself hanging around crowds of people that didn’t have the same interests as me, but I forced myself to like it anyway because I wanted to fit in. At the same time, I didn’t want to lose my sense of identity and what made me who I was. What if my friends back home didn’t recognize me? What if I replaced all my beliefs with the beliefs and interests of others just because I didn’t want to stick out like a sore thumb? Similarly, Kamala finds a difficult balance between understanding her powers as Ms. Marvel and her life as Kamala. While Ms. Marvel was everything she wanted to be, it was also completely different from who Kamala Khan was.  However, in trying to be like Ms. Marvel, she realizes that she can be Ms. Marvel as Kamala Khan. Just because she is now a superhero with greater responsibilities, it doesn’t mean she can’t do so in a manner that aligns with the life that Kamala had lived all her years.

Ms. Marvel reminded me about the importance of staying true to yourself. It can be difficult to be yourself sometimes, but it certainly is much more difficult to be someone you’re not. Embrace your successes, failures, strengths, weaknesses, hobbies, personality, and all these things who made you who you are today. I’m interested in reading the next volume(s) of Ms. Marvel in the future and watch her story continue to unfold.

Week 2 – Super(hu)man

When I think of Superman, I always picture him soaring through the air with one arm out, his cape waving in the speed of his flight, with the facial expression that would most likely scare off most criminals just with a stare. Yet in All Star Superman, the author Grant Morrison allows us a glimpse into how Superman would cope with very human issues.

With my knowledge of Superman (or most superheroes for that matter) based mostly on movies and cartoons, I am more familiar with the action-based side of Superman, as I am sure many of you are as well. I find it very refreshing and interesting to be able to see Superman as a human; an individual with emotions of happiness, sadness, anger, guilt, and more. In the midst of this, I find it particularly interesting to explore Superman’s emotion of fear, specifically fear for the future of himself as well as for the world.

Let me start by asking you a question: Would you feel safe in a city confided in a hero or heroes that experienced fear? Surely if you were held at gun point by a criminal, you would feel a sense of relief at the sight of police officers determined to rescue you. You picture them as brave, confident individuals with the goal of ensuring the safety of all citizens, no matter the cost. Now, what if these officers saw the person with the gun to your head and said, “Oh dear, this is too scary for me!” and ran off in the other direction. You will most likely lose all confidence in the police force from there on, but perhaps you would also have a sense of understanding for the very human qualities that the officer experienced.

Would this level of understanding extend to Superman? Personally, it never did until I read All Star Superman. In this series, Superman is faced with many humanly-relatable issues such as coping with the death of a parent and knowing that he himself had limited days left until he will die. This vulnerability of Superman made me gain a greater appreciation of Superman and seeing him not as an alien, or even a hero from outer space, but as an individual raised by human parents, who taught him human morals. He is not so much an alien who was sent by his parents from Krypton to save Earth, but a superhuman who uses his powers to protect the planet he grew up and was raised on; Earth was no longer his destination, it is his home.

My favourite issue of All Star Superman has to be #5. I really enjoyed reading about Clark Kent and his interview with Lex Luthor. The “Lex Luthor talking to Clark Kent about Superman” and the “Clark Kent answering questions as Superman” dynamic of the issue was very entertaining to read. The atmosphere throughout the entire issue was very light and amusing as Superman uses Clark Kent to hide his super powers in fighting against the parasite and the cell mates. As much as I enjoy the classic “superhero fights the villain” comic, I still gravitate towards the humour-focused side of comics and it was delightful to read a combination of the two.


Hi, my name is YoYo, thank you for visiting my blog of superheroes. I’m currently in my 3B term of Honours Science. Growing up I read a lot of comics, mostly because I didn’t like reading books without pictures. I was born in Hong Kong and didn’t come to Canada until I was 7 years old, so my comics were mostly Chinese humour comics (Old Master Q and Doraemon if you’re interested). I stopped collecting comics after it became too financially unfeasible and it took up too much space in the house. I believe that heroes are defined beyond the world of comics and fiction. Through this blog and course, I hope to rediscover my love for comics and explore a larger variety of comics and superheroes.