The Adventure Zone Announces The Crystal Kingdom Release Event

Hit actual play podcast The Adventure Zone began bringing its particular brand of chaos and storytelling to graphic novel format back in 2018. The illustrated version of the podcast’s first arc “Here There Be Gerblins” grabbed fans’ attention and climbed the New York Times bestseller charts. Now, the McElroy family and Carey Pietsch are back with the fourth installment of the series, The Adventure Zone: The Crystal Kingdom, along with a a virtual event to celebrate its release.

The Adventure Zone: The Crystal Kingdom takes main characters Merle, Magnus and Taako deep within the floating labyrinthine workshop of the Miller family, famous both for their elevators and for messing with artifacts best left alone. As the Miller’s arcane labs are slowly taken over by pink tourmaline, threatening to crash it into the earth from the sheer weight of the crystal, the heroes don protective suits to enter the lab and find out what evil force has been pulling the strings of the transmutation stone and causing the spread of this pink crystal.

RELATED: EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW: Onion Skin, Mexico’s First National Young Graphic Novel Award Winner

To celebrate the impending pink adventure, Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy and Carey Pietsch will host a virtual event chock full of live readings, special guests and answers to all your burning questions. Free to stream on both YouTube and Facebook, “The Adventure Zone Graphic Novel Live & Virtual” will give the graphic novel’s creators a chance to talk about the creative process and goof with their friends. Previous year’s guests have included Erika Ishii, voice actor for Apex Legend‘s Valkyrie, Janet Varney of The Legend of Korra fame, SupernaturalThe Guild‘s Felicia Day and Legends of Tomorrow alum Brandon Routh.

This isn’t the first graphic novel release the crew has had to celebrate virtually — last year’s The Adventure Zone: Petals to the Metal launch moved online due to the pandemic, and earlier events were hit with delayed flights and Skype-ins as well. But the McElroys have cultivated their virtual-show skills, culminating in their two-hour Candlenights extravaganza at the tail-end of 2020, and “The Adventure Zone Graphic Novel Live & Virtual” promises to deliver on the fun.

RELATED: The Adventure Zone: New Season Ethersea Promises Walking Coral and Costly Magic

But fans have more to look forward to from the upcoming The Adventure Zone: The Crystal Kingdom than just the well-honed virtual hosting skills and much-beloved McElroy banter of its release event. This arc of the podcast first introduced Kravitz, a bounty hunter who immediately became a favorite character, especially as his relationship with the main characters grew deeper. This arc also takes the characters further into the overarching story, showcasing not only another powerful relic but giving readers a glimpse into the different planes — and the “entire cosmology of all existence” — that will become integral to later books.

The Adventure Zone: The Crystal Kingdom release event “The Adventure Zone Graphic Novel Live & Virtual” will be streamed live on Tuesday, July 13th at 9:00 PM EST on both Facebook and YouTube. Fans can join the conversation on social media with #TAZGNLive, but they can also get a signed bookplate and an event exclusive pack of The Adventure Zone trading cards by purchasing a copy of The Adventure Zone: The Crystal Kingdom from Bookbug, Left Bank Books, Solid State Books, Brookline Booksmith or Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop.

The Adventure Zone: The Crystal Kingdom is written by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy and Travis McElroy and illustrated by co-adaptor Carey Pietsch. Published by First Second, the graphic novel goes on sale July 13.

KEEP READING: The Adventure Zone: What Ethersea’s Prologue Reveals About the Kingdoms

Hit podcast-turned-graphic novel The Adventure Zone celebrates the release of its fourth installment with a free virtual live show hosted by its creat

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The Nanny's Fran Drescher Visits the Sheffield Townhouse | CBR

The Nanny star Fran Drescher gifted fans a gift with a recent photo of the show’s famous Sheffield mansion on social media last week.

The actor posted a photo of herself, along with the show’s co-creator Peter Marc Jacobson, posing in front of the New York City residence. She captioned the shot, “Look what Peter sent me! Us in front of the Sheffield mansion in NYC! I haven’t seen that in a while!”

RELATED: Donald Trump Demanded a Very Specific Change to an Episode of The Nanny

In the photo, Drescher is sporting a fitted black dress, black sandals and a straw hat while standing on the home’s front steps. Drescher posted the photo just a few weeks after she suggested that a reboot of The Nanny should feature Cardi B in the titular role.

“Contractually, I’m not really allowed to do a reboot on TV, until we get the musical on its feet on Broadway, which is fine,” the actor said at the time. “I know that Cardi B loves The Nanny and she’s got the style and she’s really funny and she might be really great. And I could play her mother Sylvie. How cool would that be?”

And while the Nanny reboot may be a long way off, Deadline recently reported that the Broadway adaption of the hit television series is “almost ready to launch.” Specifically, Drescher said at the time, “It’s been very sad to see New York without the theater community, which is really such a pulse for the city, and I’m very, very thrilled we’re coming out the other side and that theater is coming back and we’ll be almost ready to launch The Nanny musical on Broadway as well.”

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Drescher is currently working on the show’s book with Jacobsen, with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Rachel Bloom writing the music. Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger had previously signed on to work with Bloom on the show’s music, but died from complications arising from the coronavirus (COVID-19) at the age of 52 in April 2020.

The Nanny aired on CBS for six seasons and centered on a Jewish cosmetics saleswoman from Flushing, Queens, named Fran Fine, who found herself taking care of a Broadway producer’s three mischievous children. The show was created and produced by Drescher and her then-husband Jacobson, who based the show on Drescher’s real-life experiences growing up in Queens.

Co-created by Fran Drescher and Peter Marc Jacobson, The Nanny stars Fran Drescher, Charles Shaughnessy, Daniel Davis, Lauren Lane, Nicholle Tom, Benjamin Salisbury, Madeline Zima, Renée Taylor, Rachel Chagall and Ann Morgan Guilbert. All six seasons are currently streaming on HBO Max.

KEEP READING: The Boy Who Loved Batman Is Getting a Broadway Adaptation

Source: Deadline

The Nanny star and creator Fran Drescher posts a photo posing in front of the show's famous Sheffield mansion.

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Digimon Adventure 2020 Introduces Biyomon's Mega Form, Hououmon

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 52 of Digimon Adventure 2020, “Dance of the Heavens, Hououmon,” now streaming on Crunchyroll.

Though beloved, the original Digimon Adventure series was kind of unbalanced in its power-scaling. Tai and Matt’s partners — Agumon and Gabumon — were the only members of the DigiDestined to receive Mega forms, for instance. In the tie-in movie, creatively named Digimon: The Movie, the duo even got to combine their Mega-levelled Digimon to form the virus-busting warrior, Omnimon. While subsequent franchise entries have addressed this imbalance, the currently-airing Adventure reboot provides ample opportunity to do so at the source. And while it may have taken over 50 episodes, “Dance of the Heavens, Hououmon” just does that with the introduction of Biyomon’s titular Mega form, a Digimon that’s far more than just a really big bird (… but is also a really big bird).

Related: Digimon Adventure Gives WarGreymon His Own Spirit Bomb

Also known aptly as Phoenixmon, Hououmon’s appearance is tied to the Chosen Ones’ current quest to better understand their crests, which have so far been scantly discussed in the series. Older fans will already know that these unique symbols that appear on each child’s Digivice represent various aspirational qualities, like courage, friendship and knowledge, and are key to pushing the gang’s Digimon to ever-higher levels of evolution and strength. As Sora’s crest is ‘love,’ it takes an inciting incident to break the pair’s affection for one another so it can be strengthened in Episode 52, pushing them to the new evolutionary level.

Traveling with Tai and Agumon, the foursome come across some Digimon workers busy at the foot of a volcano. After pitching in to help, Biyomon becomes injured and Sora’s motherly, overprotective mode kicks in. She refuses to let her Digimon continue working, driving a wedge of bitter distrust between the usually inseparable pair. It isn’t until the volcano erupts that Biyomon comes to her senses, as well as Sora’s aid. Evolving to Birdramon and then Garudamon, the two help Tai and MetalGreymon evacuate the area but the flowing lava threatens to catch the fleeing Digimon faster than they can escape. The rebuilt trust between Sora and Garudamon, as well as the pressure-cooker situation they find themselves in, unlocks Hououmon, who resolves the natural disaster for good.

Related: Digimon Adventure Gears Up for a Godly Arrival Against Milleniumon

As well as the significance of Sora getting a Mega-level Digimon for the first time in Adventure, viewers should take note of the bird’s ankles — around which are Holy Rings, like those that adorn Gatomon and other Holy Digimon. This extra bit of bling enhances Hououmon’s status as the “ultimate” Bird Digimon, as well as confirming that it’s packing divine power in every beat of its (no less than) four wings. Hououmon is undoubtedly the first of three other so-far-unseen Mega evolutions that the remaining members of the DigiDestined (Izzy, Mimi and Joe) will unlock in the coming episodes — evolutions that will finally put the kids on more equal footing.

Keep Reading: Digimon Masters Online: One Item Isn’t Just For Show

Digimon Adventure 2020 gives Sora and Biyomon a Mega level boost with the introduction of Hououmon.

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Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 7 Easter Eggs & Callbacks | CBR

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 1, Episode 7, “Battle Scars,” streaming now on Disney+.

Sometimes, it seems like every Star Wars project is just one big Easter egg, and “Battle Scars” is no exception. The latest episode of The Bad Batch is littered will all kinds of callbacks to previous Star Wars shows, movies and even video games Here’s a chronological list of all of the references in “Battle Scars.”

The callbacks start early in this entry, with the episode title acting as a milt-faceted callback. “Battle Scars” speaks to the general theme that actions have consequences and that war is a difficult thing, even for Clone bred specifically to fight. But more than that, the scars are a literal reference to the wounds that will be made when the Bad Batch removes their inhibitor chips later in the episode, and also acts as a callback to Star Wars Rebels Season 2, Episode 3, “The Lost Commanders.” In the episode, Rex tells Ezra, “The war left its scars on all of us.” He was referencing how Order 66 took an obvious toll on the Jedi, but it also was problematic for the Clones who were being forced to act against their will.

RELATED: The Bad Batch Confronts Its Biggest Mistake – and Barely Survives

As the episode opens, Clone Force 99 is fleeing from the Rhokai after stealing some kind of a lizard. Unable to escape two pursuing ships, they try to jump to lightspeed, only for the hyperdrive to be offline. Echo scrambles to fix it, and right before the Rhokain ships are able to shoot the ship down, it comes back online. This sequence is a subtle Easter egg that references the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back when Han, Chewbacca and Leia are fleeing from the Empire and only narrowly escape because the Millennium’s Falcon’s hyperdrive was offline.

Back at Cid’s cantina, Hunter sees about payment for the mission while Wrecker and Omega go out for a snack. In the background of the cantina, there is a Ithorian and a Weequay playing Dejarik, which is also known as holochess. Dejarik has been seen in various Star Wars media, but its most notable appearance came in A New Hope when Han Solo advises R2-D2 to let Chewbacca win.

RELATED: The Bad Batch Reveals What Became of Separatist Forces After the Clone Wars

It’s kind of surprising that it took so long for Captain Rex to make an appearance in The Bad Batch, but it finally happened in “Battle Scars.” As Clone Force 99 is conversing with Cid in the cantina, Rex fires a warning shot to get rid of the Ithorian and Weequay, building up to a dramatic reveal. As the group rushes out of Cid’s office, Rex takes off his hood and reveals that he was the mysterious figure from the last episode’s hologram.

Clone Force 99 begins catching up with their old friend, and he tells them that he has been keeping a low profile since the rise of the Empire, despite setting up a rebellion. However, Tech points out that, according to Imperial files, Rex was killed. This creates an interesting mystery because the Empire knows that Rex is alive by the events of Rebels, which means he still has some fighting to do before it’s all said and done.

RELATED: The Bad Batch: Super-Soldiers Are the Kaminoans’ Only Hope

When Wrecker sees Rex, the Captain immediately takes note of the Clone’s headaches and realizes that the inhibitor chip is causing it. He knows what might happen if the chip activates, being that he succumbed to his programming in The Clone Wars Season 7 when he tried to kill Ahsoka Tano, and immediately advises the team to get their chips removed.

While it had been speculated in the past, “Battle Scars” reveals that Omega doesn’t have an inhibitor chip. Clearly, she wasn’t made to fight against the Jedi, but it remains a mystery why her creators left out such a vital part of nearly every Clone. It’s possible Omega doesn’t have one because she was made unaltered like Boba Fett, or maybe, she’s part of the Kaminoans’ secret plans to maintain relevance in the galaxy.

RELATED: The Bad Batch: Wrecker & Omega’s Post-Mission Tradition Is Delicious – AND Costly

After Rex leaves Cid’s, he instructs Clone Force 99 to meet him at a crashed Jedi Cruiser on the planet of Bracca to have their chips removed. Bracca, of course, is that same planet that Cal Kestis crash-landed onto in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. There are multiple references to the game in the episode, including a musical motif as the Bad Batch exits hyperspace, the Scraper Guild and even a possible reference to the Ibdis Maw. Hopefully, with all these direct references to Fallen Order, Clone Force 99 will cross paths with a young Cal Kestis before the series ends.

As the group is walking to the Jedi cruiser on Bracca, Rex mentions to Echo that Fives had tried to tell him about the inhibitor chips before he died in The Clone Wars. Rex didn’t understand at the time and was forced to hunt down his friend, who Palpatine falsely accused of an assassination attempt in an effort to eliminate him, but still wishes he had listened all this time later.

RELATED: What Star Wars Could Learn From Marvel, According To Loki’s Head Writer

As Rex leads the Bad Batch through the cruiser, they have to shimmy their way across a cable over a high gouge in the ship. Wrecker is the last to go and ends up breaking the cable, forcing him to fall directly into the mouth of a hungry monster. While the beast could be part of the Ibdis Maw, it’s more likely a Dianoga — the same kind of creature that tried to eat Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie on the first Death Star in A New Hope.

Near the end of the episode, Rex is talking on a commlink to someone about meeting at a rendezvous point. Once again, The Bad Batch leaves the figure a mystery, but there’s plenty of potential candidates out there, including Ahsoka Tano, Bail Organa, Saw Guerra and Wolfe and Gregor. Regardless of who it is, though, The Bad Batch will likely act as a bridge between The Clone Wars and Rebels for Rex.

Created by Dave Filoni, Star Wars: The Bad Batch stars Dee Bradley Baker, Andrew Kishino and Ming-Na Wen. New episodes air Fridays on Disney+.

KEEP READING: The Bad Batch Guide: News, Easter Eggs, Reviews, Recaps, Theories and Rumors

The Bad Batch's latest episode, “Battle Scars,” is full of callbacks to the larger Star Wars franchise.

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Pokémon Go Developer Niantic Working on a Transformers AR Game

Niantic, the development studio behind the hyper-successful Pokémon Go, is developing an augmented-reality Transformers game.

Announced on Twitter, Transformers: Heavy Metal is a mobile game that will see players using their phones to interact with a variety of Autobots and Deceptions transposed into the real world. Similar to how Pokémon Go saw fans walk around their neighborhoods to capture Pokémon, players will need to venture outside to play their part in an ongoing war between the Cybertronians.

Related: Pokémon Go: Everything Available in the New Pokémon Snap Celebration Event

“In Transformers: Heavy Metal, players will join the Guardian Network, a group of humans who have banded together with the Autobots in a war against the Decepticons. As a Guardian, players will uncover hidden regions across Earth to find resources and battle Decepticons in turn-based battles, either solo or with friends,” reads Niantic‘s description of the game.

While Niantic has yet to confirm the minutia of the gameplay, official screenshots for Transformers: Heavy Metal suggest several mechanical similarities between the upcoming game and the developers’ previous releases. A variety of menacing Decepticons are littered across a GPS-like map; these will likely serve as “encounters” that players will need to overcome. The hovering nodes may be the game’s replacement for Pokémon Go‘s PokéStops but nothing has been confirmed. What appears to be a shadowy Starscream may also serve as a raid battle.

Related: Transformers: War for Cybertron Key Art Reveals Kingdom Release Date

While Pokémon Go may have been Niantic’s breakout title, the developer has experienced success with other franchises, mostly recently with Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Niantic is currently developing an AR Pikmin game alongside Nintendo although no further information has been revealed since the game’s announcement in 2020.

Transformers: Heavy Metal will enter a soft launch “soon” and will be available for Android and iOS. Niantic has yet to reveal which regions will receive this early version of the game.

Keep Reading: Transformers: Beast Wars – A Powerful Predacon Officially Switched Sides

Source: Twitter

Niantic, known for AR mobile hit Pokémon Go, moves away from cute critters and embraces gigantic robots in its next game, Transformers: Heavy Metal.

Microsoft Flight Simulator Must-Have Add-Ons | CBR

Nearly a year after its release, Microsoft Flight Simulator remains a surprise hit among gamers. It’s not just the incredible, photorealistic world players can soar through, though. The ability to mod and expand the game makes it incredibly popular, and the mods are constantly updating. To that end, we’ve updated this piece from last year to include more mods that Flight Simulator fans may want to check out. 

Microsoft Flight Simulator is a fantastic reboot of the beloved franchise. Development studio Asobo included as much as it could to make the title authentic to the actual experience of flying, but as with any game, there is always room for enhancement.

As a stand-alone title, this year’s release is proficient at scratching the itch to fly. However, Microsoft Flight Simulator is pretty bare-bones. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it allows third-party developers to come up with amazing mods and add-ons specifically designed to dramatically enhance the experience.

RELATED: Xbox’s E3 Showcase Was About the Platform, Not the Games

The flight simulator is a bit thin in terms of aircraft livery, so if players want to take to the skies flying the Delta or American Airways colors, they’ll have to download them. Clink has collected over 320 official airline liveries across 15 different airplanes and bundling them together in one simple download.

Flying a plane from the departure point to the arrivals gate is one thing, but without any passengers or cargo onboard, it can quickly get boring. The awesome Self-Loading Cargo by YouTuber FPVSteve gives players the ‘real’ airline feeling in Microsoft Flight Simulator.

This small desktop application simulates cabin and crew communications and passenger ambiance. The captain can even address the cabin. The application also monitors over 40 in-flight conditions and activates actions as appropriate. It costs about $16 and can be downloaded from the official website.

RELATED: Microsoft Will Actually Sell Xbox Mini Fridges

The default Airbus A320neo that comes with Microsoft Flight Simulator is perfect for those new to flying. A couple of free files from the A32NX Project, however, transforms the A320 to be as functionally close to reality as possible. Activating several unused cockpit options, the project adds everything an amateur pilot could.

For virtual pilots who want to plot their own flight plans, check local weather, make a scenic detour or keep track of navigational points, Little Nav Map is a must-use. It’s a free, open source utility that allows pilots to stay up to date with aircraft movements, procedures and restrictions. It even includes automatic flight plan calculation.

RELATED: Microsoft Announces xCloud Streaming Stick and Xbox TV App

Similar to Self-Loading Cargo, SimSounds attempt to recreate the real sounds that go along with flying an aircraft. It features talking passengers and enhanced engine, wind and roll sounds. Plus, it displays the plane’s telemetry. Turbulence, tail strikes and strong winds have also been optimized. SimSounds is $30, but can be downloaded for a free 30-day trial.

REX Game Studios’ Weather Force 2020 turns default weather on its head by using real-time weather information from NOAA, updated every 10 minutes. It claims to be accurate within a 1/8th mile of the weather event. The full package costs $22 and can be purchased from SimMarket.

RELATED: Microsoft Confirms ‘At Least One’ First-Party Game Will Be Added to Game Pass Every Quarter

Few people outside of the aviation community know the airport in the infamous Area 51 military base goes by the ICAO designation of KXTA Homey Airport. The highly classified base has minimal details in Microsoft Flight Simulator, but modder Richard-DHI painstakingly redesigned key buildings to bring it as close to real as possible. It’s a free scenery download.

VATSIM allows players to connect to an international online flying network in real-time. Microsoft Flight Simulator does have a built-in multiplayer aspect, but connecting to the VATSIM network requires players to talk to Air Traffic Controllers in the game. All real-world phrases, processes and procedures need to be strictly followed.

RELATED: It’s Time to Embrace Xbox’s Vision for Gaming’s Future

There are some areas around the world that don’t get the Bing Maps love they deserve — like Washington, D.C.

The Landmarks scenery pack by Drzewiecki Design is simply stunning and features over 1,500 custom-made D.C. buildings, including downtown, bridges and stadiums. The pack costs $18 and can be purchased from SimMarket.

Yosemite National Park has been remodeled by VFXSimmer in stunning detail. It includes most of the familiar sights and sounds gamers would expect while flying over granite cliffs, waterfalls and the lush Yosemite Valley — and even the giant sequoia trees in Mariposa Grove.

Related: Xbox Game Pass Ultimate’s Latest Perk Is a Month of Disney+

Alaska really got a raw deal in Flight Simulator. While most of the world is beautifully rendered, Alaska’s water was, for some reason, rendered too high. The result is some pretty gnarly-looking water sources that are floating miles above where they should be.

Reddit user u/baddweapon fixed this with Alaska Waterway Fix, a fix similar to an earlier patch for water issues in Bergen, Norway. The fix updates more than 400 bodies of water, allowing them to more closely match the Alaskan wilderness Flight Sim players are so keen to view from above.

Flight Simulator is renowned for its realism, but why does it have to stop there? It is a video game, after all. You should have some fun, and what better way than by adding in your favorite spacecraft from various science-fiction properties?

Sci-Fi Vehicles by EggMan28 adds some pretty great vehicles, though they aren’t necessarily perfect. As EggMan28 himself points out, the included craft aren’t to scale, have no working animations, interiors or sounds and are pretty rough to fly. But you can’t deny the absolute fun of the novelty. Soar over the skies in the U.S.S. Enterprise, or perhaps fly in attack pattern in Luke Skywalker’s X-WingFlight Simulator‘s landscape will look just as gorgeous, even if you are in a Star Destroyer.

KEEP READING: Xbox Game Pass Is GREAT for the Industry

Microsoft Flight Simulator is fantastic, but third-party developers have created add-ons that dramatically enhance the experience.

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Heroes Reborn: Power Princess Is Stronger Than DC's Wonder Woman

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for “The Last Utopian Meets the Last Son of the Gods” by Jason Aaron, Erica D’Urso, and Jason Keith from Heroes Reborn #6, on sale now.

It’s easy to dismiss the Squadron Supreme as Justice League knockoffs, given the Marvel team’s intentional reference to their DC predecessor. There’s a strong gut reaction that wants the original to be the strongest of the two, such as when comparing the cases of Wonder Woman and Zarda, aka Power Princess.

However, the latest issue of Heroes Reborn shows that Power Princess is more than just a name for the goddess of the Squadron Supreme. With Zarda wielding some of the best weapons in the multiverse and slaying the greatest threats to humanity singlehandedly, she may have proven herself to be even more powerful than Wonder Woman.

Throughout her story in Heroes Reborn,  Zarda has proven to be not only confident and capable against some of Marvel’s most powerful threats, but outright superior to them. At the beginning of the latest issue, she faces off against All-Gog, a version of Mangog so powerful that he helped lay waste to Asgard after devouring such notable figures as Loki and claiming the power of Odin. Even in the face of such power, Zarda barely breaks a sweat while fighting him. After rupturing his intestines she demands he gets up just so the fight can continue.

RELATED: The Avengers Are Being Hunted By Mephisto’s Dark Knight In Heroes Reborn

When the fight finally does end she turns All-Gog into a trophy, and he is clearly not the first. Other stone figures in her garden include Knull, Hela, and villainous versions of Janet Van Dyne and Tigra who became riffs on the Wonder Woman rogues Giganta and Cheetah. The comic does not just play up the Wonder Woman comparison but makes it a point to establish how much deadlier Zarda is, unrestrained by Diana’s moral compass.

Her armory consists entirely either of Marvel’s most powerful weapons (such as the Destroyer armor and Stormbreaker) or even deadlier variations of Wonder Woman’s arsenal. Her uru gauntlets prove to be deadlier than Wonder Woman’s bracelets in battle, and her Utopian Chain of Veracity and No-Blade prove more lethal than the Amazon’s Lasso of Truth and invisible jet.

Although Zarda’s raw power is only glimpsed, it would still place her above Wonder Woman from the hints that are provided. A flashback shows her blocking the Necrosword All-Black, one of the most powerful weapons in the multiverse, with her bare hands. She puts the Dark Phoenix in a headlock, battles a Celestial, and when she fights Thor she delivers a single punch said to be capable of shattering the Hulk. Repeatedly it’s shown that Zarda individually takes on foes that could topple entire super teams without even resorting to her mysterious ability to turn the living to stone.

RELATED: Marvel Gives Nighthawk a DEEP Connection to His Squadron Supreme Role

This all stands out as considerably more impressive than most versions of Wonder Woman. While shown being one of the most powerful members of the Justice League, Wonder Woman quite often sits firmly beneath Superman in power rankings and rarely takes on threats to the team singlehandedly. Her arsenal just is not as lethal or effective as Zarda’s and her willingness to use it is even less so.

The history, popularity, and characterization of Wonder Woman will always make her an important and fascinating character. But if Zarda keeps stacking up showings like these she’ll firmly prove herself to be the more powerful of the two warriors.

KEEP READING: Daredevil Shows How Mephisto’s Grand Scheme Is Already Falling Apart

In the latest issue of Heroes Reborn, Marvel's Wonder Woman presents a good case for why she's even stronger than DC's Amazonian hero.

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Pokémon: 10 Most Underrated Moves | CBR

With over 800 known moves for Pokémon to use, there are going to be more than a few that go unnoticed and underused. And with only four move slots available for each Pokémon, sometimes the more eye-catching moves get put into the repertoire when there are others that could be just as or even more effective.

RELATED: 10 Pokémon That Are Only Powerful In The Sun

With so many moves and strategies at the trainer’s disposal, it might be worth trying out some underrated moves as other trainers might not be aware of how powerful or effective they can be. If a trainer does choose to adopt some of these under-the-radar moves, they can become a force to be reckoned with.

10 Future Sight Is A Delayed Damage-Dealing Move That’s Worth Looking Into

Future Sight is a Psychic-Type move that can seem pretty underwhelming. All that happens when a Pokémon uses it is that the user has foreseen an attack. It’s not until 2 turns later that Future Sight does damage to the target.

The move is based on the Special Attack of the user and the Special Defense of the target at the time the move was used, so even if the target is switched out, the amount of damage will be the same. Future Sight damage doesn’t have a type, so it can be used on Ghost Pokémon, and with a power of 120, it’s very underrated.

9 Attract Can Blunt Opponents By Way Of Infatuation

Attract causes a Pokémon to become infatuated with the user. An infatuated Pokémon cannot attack 50% of the time, and not just against the user but any other Pokémon in the user’s team, so it’s a good way to blunt an opponent.

It will only work on a Pokémon that is the opposite gender of the user, but even so it’s an underrated move that can give trainers a big advantage.

8 Nuzzle Is Not As Innocent As It Sounds

Nuzzle is like Stun Spore or Thunder Wave in that it paralyzes the target, but unlike those moves it also does damage. Nuzzle’s power is only 20, but with a 100% probability of paralyzing and 100% accuracy, it’s a good move to have in the arsenal.

RELATED: Pokémon: 10 Strongest Attacks Without Any Drawbacks, Ranked

Exclusive to Electric-Types, Plusle and Minun get Nuzzle at level 1. With how fast those Pokémon are they could paralyze an opponent and deal some damage to turn a battle in their favor from the beginning.

7 Metal Burst Deals Back Damage To Make Opponents Think Twice About Attacking

Metal Burst is a Steel-Type move that does 1.5 times the amount of damage dealt by the opponent’s last attack. It’s similar to Counter and Mirror Coat but it doesn’t have the specific requirements that those moves have in order to hit, and it also doesn’t have negative priority.

A decent move that will make opponents think twice about their strategy. Bisharp, Alolan Sandslash, Wormadom, Perrserka, and Zamazenta all have Metal Burst at level 1.

6 Acrobatics Is Very Powerful If The User Isn’t Holding An Item

Acrobatics is a Flying-Type move that has a power of 55, but that doubles to 110 if the user has no held item. If the user is holding a Flying Gem, which increases the power of Flying-Type moves by 50%, Acrobatics will be counted as the user not holding an item as they’ll consume it before the move is used.

While a number of Pokémon of a range of types can learn Acrobatics, Inteleon is the only one to have it from the outset.

5 Skill Swap Turns The Tables By Switching Abilities

Skill Swap is a Psychic-Type move that works just how it sounds; it switches the Abilities of the user and the target. Skill Swap always hits unless the opponent is in the middle of a move like Dig or Fly. The move can be used to swap all but a dozen or so Abilities and is obviously at its best when the Pokémon using it has a weak or somewhat useless Ability, like Truant.

RELATED: Pokémon: 10 Ways Fairy Is The Best Type

The earliest a Pokémon learns Skill Swap without being taught is level 25, when Sylveon (level 40 in gen VIII) and Hoopa learn the move, but it is also a TM that many Pokémon can learn.

4 Fire Pokémon Should Fear Vivillon’s Powder

Vivillon’s signature move, Powder covers the target in powder. Its priority of +1 means it goes first unless the opponent also uses a move with increased priority. Particularly effective against Fire-Types, if the target tries to use a Fire-Type move covered in Vivillon’s powder, it will take damage up to 25% of its maximum HP, and the move will not work.

Although it’s Vivillon’s signature move, Cutiefly can learn Powder through breeding or when transferred from another generation.

3 Fury Cutter Can Do Massive Damage If It Hits Consecutively

Fury Cutter’s base power is 10, but if it’s used consecutively, its power can rise to 160, making it extremely powerful. Its accuracy is 95%, and if it misses its power will reset, but it’s still likely to hit enough times to deal a good amount of damage.

Used mostly by Bug Pokémon but not exclusive to them, Fury Cutter can also be taught as a TM. In gen VIII, Alolan Sandslash, Scizor, and Sirfetch’d are some of the notable Pokémon who have this move from level 1.

2 Hex Adds Insult To Injury To Pokémon With A Status Condition

Hex is a Ghost-Type move that has a base power of 65. That’s already pretty powerful, but the move doubles if the target has a non-volatile status condition, which is any status condition that continues outside of battle or after a Pokémon is switched out, such as Burn, Freeze, Poison, and so on.

Chandelure has Hex from level 1 across all generations, so it can use Smog to poison its opponent then deal out heavy damage with Hex.

1 Acid Spray Is A Multipurpose Move That Can Make Battles A Breeze

Acid Spray inflicts 40 damage, which might not seem like much, but it also reduces the target’s Special Defense by 2 stages, with a 100% chance of doing so.

So if a Pokémon uses Amnesia to raise their Special Defense, Acid Spray can negate the status change while inflicting damage at the same time, effectively meaning the opponent wasted a turn and lost HP in the process. Both forms of Toxtricity know Acid Spray at level 1, so the Punk Pokémon could use it before following up with a Special Attack like Belch to gain a huge advantage.

NEXT: 10 Legendary Pokémon That Don’t Live Up To The Title

If you're the type of Pokémon player that tends to only favor the obvious power moves, some of these overlooked gems are worth considering.

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Xbox's E3 Showcase Review | CBR

Microsoft’s E3 press conference has come and gone. It was a feature-length showcase full of new game reveals and updates that spanned genres and studios. Pound for pound, it’s rare to see an event as active as this. While the pacing could have been improved and key details like Halo Infinite‘s release date were missing, it was a potent salvo from Microsoft. However, the takeaway from today was not necessarily the games themselves, but instead what the games telegraph about the larger Xbox ecosystem.

Microsoft has fundamentally shifted the goalposts for what success in the space looks like. Earlier this week, the company outlined its forward-thinking strategy that lowers the barriers around the Xbox ecosystem and prioritizes access. The company is pivoting toward the Netflix model of ubiquity, accessibility and copious amounts of content. While the earlier statements operated in the abstract, today’s conference solidified the plan.

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The company succeeded today by setting up a series of dominoes which will begin to fall starting with games like The Ascent and Psychonauts 2. In practice, Microsoft outlined a future in which the combined power of Xbox Game Studios and its strategic partnerships are bringing new titles – exclusive or otherwise – to the ecosystem continually. Additionally, they’re coming for peanuts, as they’re rolled into Xbox Game Pass and playable even without dedicated hardware.

It is now clear that players invested in the Xbox ecosystem have no reason to disengage from the platform. Today, thirty titles were showcased that are all inherently at the players’ fingertips. This creates a dragnet where no individual piece of content or even its associated quality really matter. It’s the collective Xbox experience that is foregrounded. The big, amorphous machine is finally beginning to take shape.

This strategy posits a gaming reality that’s fairly close to the aforementioned Netflix model. Audience members may subscribe for a particular piece of content, but they stay for the continually-updating and lively service. Most users will not experience the majority of Netflix’s content, nor will they have any reason to interrogate the quality of it. This approach eliminates consumer risk completely. The cost is incurred via subscription, not a la carte. If an original doesn’t hit the spot, it doesn’t matter. The promise of the continued stream of engagement picks up the slack and justifies the price.

RELATED: Why the Arbiter Is Such a BELOVED Halo Character

Xbox is shifting to a reality which operates in exactly the same way. Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5 and Starfield will justify the initial entry into Game Pass, and the larger Xbox apparatus by extension. Then, the twenty-seven other titles detailed today string the user along, ensuring that they pay the monthly fee to stay engaged with the larger decentralized community. From indies to AA titles to AAA blockbusters, Microsoft has proved that the games will just keep coming.

Not all of these will be winners nor will they all speak to large demographics. But, they’ll motivate continued engagement. Each game will speak directly to a community of players, and word of mouth will carry that appeal to new corners of the audience. From a delivery and consumption standpoint, the Xbox Game Studios roster will become indistinguishable from the rosters of Amazon Prime Video or Spotify in concept.

As such, it’s difficult to be truly frustrated by the absence of concrete information for any title shown today. E3 is just an elaborate marketing scheme. It is meant to drive hype and motivate players to buy any number of the revealed games. Studios need good trailers to influence the audience to purchase their products. When the Square Enix event falls flat, for instance, that matters. Players need to buy into each of those experiences. Microsoft totally changed that calculus today.

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It doesn’t matter how any reveal goes over because the player already has every Xbox Game Studio title baked into their gaming diet. Their monthly subscription gives them access. They don’t need to be convinced by a trailer to drop a lump sum on a game. They only need to be curious enough to launch Xbox Game Pass and give it a whirl.

This enables players to cut through destructive and toxic hype cycles to simply play games. Redfall may be totally mysterious, but it’s a new Arkane IP and it’ll be on Game Pass. Frankly, the player doesn’t need to know more than that. The trailer didn’t provide detial, but why does it matter when players can already try the game themselves for a nominal Game Pass fee even in the absence of Xbox hardware? Ultimately, the question is rhetorical.

Microsoft just asserted a reality in which its grand designs are just that – reality. Every player even tangential to the Xbox ecosystem can play every outlined game without dedicated hardware or a retail price tag. All it takes is a controller and a monthly subscription to access a tantalizingly rich, continual stream of new content. There is no risk, only reward. Today, Microsoft moved from the abstract to the concrete, and dropped a compelling slate of titles into a burgeoning open platform that could fundamentally change the industry.

KEEP READING: Halo: The Master Chief Collection Is the Best Compilation of All Time

Microsoft's E3 press conference was full of reveals, but the sum of the showcase's parts is what mattered. Xbox's strategy is finally being realized.

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10 Marvel Characters Captain America Has Never Beat In A Fight

Captain America is one of Marvel‘s greatest martial artists. Aside from the increased strength, speed, and agility that comes with the Super-Soldier Serum, Steve Rogers has been trained in almost every form of martial arts under the sun. This makes him a formidable hand-to-hand combatant, and that’s before even speaking of the unbreakable Vibranium shield.

RELATED: MCU’s 10 Most Suspenseful Moments, Ranked

However, for all of his strength and skills, there are some foes that even Captain America has yet to conquer. There are enemies either too powerful or too skilled in their own right for Captain America to have definitively beaten. Some of those opponents have even been Captain America’s friends.

10 Steve Has Never Gotten Doctor Strange Back For Wiping His Mind

When Captain America wanted to stop the Illuminati from taking a dark path to put an end to the Incursion crisis, the rest of the group signaled to Doctor Strange to mindwipe Captain America and knock him out. When Cap later learned of this, he took all of his frustration out on Iron Man because of their bad blood.

Cap has never thought to get Strange back for this, and that’s probably to Steve’s benefit. Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme, and it’s unlikely Cap could win that fight without getting the drop on him.

9 Cap’s Battled His Friend, Namor, Several Times But Never Won

Captain America and Namor have been friends since World War II. Both men were members of the superteam known as the Invaders, but Cap’s principles and Namor’s temperament have brought the two to blows several times.

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However, Cap’s never been able to close the deal on this one. Namor is just too powerful, and Cap can only keep him occupied for a while so that Namor, hopefully, calms down. The closest Steve ever came to a victory is when he got Namor caught in a gene-altering bomb that briefly turned Namor human.

8 Captain America Couldn’t Stand Against Ghost Rider

The Avengers once came to blows with the Champions of Los Angeles, a cooky superteam made up of Hercules, Ghost Rider, Black Widow, Iceman, Darkstar, and the Angel. This fight was prompted by the Spirit of Vengeance overtaking Johnny Blaze and sending him on a rampage.

Cap and fellow Avenger Tigra were caught in this path of destruction and were only able to dodge and avoid the Ghost Rider without ever taking him on directly. Thankfully, Thor and Iron Man arrived to get the Ghost Rider’s attention. Even they couldn’t stop the Rider, though, and it took Angel calming Johnny down to end the crisis.

7 Cap Couldn’t Bring Himself To Take Down The Winter Soldier

When Bucky Barnes first returned as the Winter Soldier, Cap discerned his identity pretty quickly. While Captain America was forced to fight the Winter Soldier a few times, Steve could never bring himself to truly hurt Bucky.

There was never a true victor in these fights. In the end, Cap used a Cosmic Cube to give Bucky his memories back, and this ended their series of battles.

6 Spidey And Cap Have Had A Duel, But Cap Couldn’t Close The Deal

During Civil War, Captain America and Spider-Man were initially on opposite sides of the conflict. Spidey even revealed his secret identity at this point to show his support for the Superhuman Registration Act–though this revelation was later undone by Mephisto.

Captain America and Spidey fought one-on-one in the early stages of the Civil War, and, to his credit, Cap came close to winning that fight. However, in the end, Cap was distracted by other things and couldn’t close the deal.

5 Cap Has Never Outfought Shang-Chi, The Master Of Kung Fu

It has been revealed in the past that Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung Fu, has given some combat training to Captain America before. However, the two have never had reason to fight until the recent return of the Phoenix Force to Earth. The Phoenix wanted to choose a new champion, and Cap and Shang-Chi were among its nominees.

Cap let Shang Chi pummel him throughout the fight, as Steve believed Shang-Chi to be the best possible choice for such a power. However, in the end, the Phoenix saw through Cap’s ruse and gave him the victor in the round–though Shang-Chi was actually winning the fight itself.

4 Captain America Has Fought Black Panther Several Times But Never Won

Captain America and Black Panther are close friends as Avengers, but they’ve also had several fights over the years for many reasons.

Despite these several combat encounters, only one instance saw a true victor–and it was the Black Panther. While the Superhero Civil War was raging, Black Panther and Cap came to blows, and T’Challa was the clear winner–even saying he’d be willing to kill Cap if necessary.

3 Cap Trained Hawkeye So Well Even He Can’t Beat Him Anymore

When Hawkeye first joined the Avengers, he had almost zero fighting skills, and Cap laid him out to show him how much of a problem this was.

RELATED: MCU: 5 Ways Movies Are Still Its Best Format (& 5 Ways TV Shows Are Better)

Years later, Captain America and Hawkeye came to blows when Steve wanted to test Hawkeye. The fight was long and intense, but Hawkeye was able to incapacitate Steve with a shock arrow.

2 Steve Has Never Been Able To Stop Cyclops Despite Their Bad Blood

Captain American and Cyclops have had several battles in recent years. Both of their respective teams came to all-out war in Avengers VS X-Men. However, Cap has never actually decisively beaten Cyclops in combat. AVX started with Cyclops blasting Cap away with his optic beams. It ended with the entirety of the Avengers and X-Men having to stop a Phoenix-crazed Scott Summers.

Later, Cyclops and Cap fought again, and Cyclops was able to hold his own and even seemingly put Steve down with a frying pan.

1 Captain America Has Never Had A Decisive Victory Over Iron Man

Captain America VS Iron Man is one of the most infamous superhero rivalries in comic books. Steve Rogers and Tony Stark have very different methods and worldviews. Their animosity came to fruition during Civil War and with the return of the Illuminati during Time Runs Out. The two have fought several times in that period.

Despite that, Cap and Iron Man have never had a decisive conclusion to such fights. Cap incapacitated Tony with joy buzzer that shorted out the Iron Man armor during Civil War. They later had a secret summit where the two began physically beating one another (which Cap came close to winning but never sealed the deal on). They beat on each other a few more times during Civil War, and it only ended when Cap surrendered in the face of all the carnage the Superhero Civil War had caused. At the conclusion of Time Runs Out, an aged Captain America put on a suit of power armor and had a brutal fight with Iron Man while the world literally ended around them–ultimately consuming them in fire and destruction.

NEXT: 10 MCU Movies That Hit Different On A Rewatch

There are enemies, and even his own friends, that are either too powerful or too skilled in their own right for Captain America to have beaten.