My Hero Academia’s New Arc Is An Awesome Ode to Batman’s Knightfall

My Hero Academia’s current manga arc is an awesome ode to the classic Batman story “Knightfall.” If you haven’t been keeping up with My Hero Academia’s manga (and why not?) here’s what’s been going on (Spoilers!): Izuku Midoriya has unlocked the full power and quirk abilities of One For All, but his nemesis All For One has countered by staging a massive prison break, which has unleashed the worst of the worst villains back into society. Deku has decided to strike out on his own in order to finally take down All For One before any more of his classmates or fellow heroes get maimed or killed in the hero/villain war.

However, Izuku’s new mission to almost single-handedly take down an army of elite villains and All For One (not to mention AFO’s protege Tomura Shigaraki) is pushing the young hero into a dangerous place. Deku is worn down from going non-stop and all-out with OFA’s full power set – not to mention the relentless pursuit of protecting people in a world where hero society is crumbling. That exhaustion has made Izuku withdraw and obsess over his mission, pushing away those closest to him (All Might, Bakugo). Now, All For One is unleashing more and more formidable villains to continue wearing Izuku down – including the freaky, mind-snatching new villain Dictator.

If you’ve never read Batman: Knightfall, the story hits many of these same beats. Batman’s foe Bane comes to Gotham City and blows open Arkham Asylum and lets all of the maximum-security villains inside – some of the worst maniacs and killers from Batman’s rogues gallery. That act forces Batman to go on a relentless mission of tracking down and recapturing any number of the villains that got away – including Two-Face, Joker, Firefly, Riddler, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Mr. Zsasz, and numerous others.

The mission to re-capture the villains wears Batman down mentally, physically, spiritually – all as Bane planned. When Bruce Wayne is down to rock bottom, Bane surprises him by directly attack Wayne Manor, resulting in a brutal duel between Batman and Bane inside the Batcave, which ends with Bane breaking Batman’s back, in what is still arguably one of the biggest milestone moments in comics.

My Hero Academia creator Kōhei Horikoshi is all too famous for packing the manga with Easter egg odes to the superhero and sci-fi series that inspired him to create Boku no Hiro Akademia. This current arc with Deku rounding up the prison escaped convict villains is an exciting ode to the pivotal Knightfall storyline of ’90s Batman comics – even if My Hero Academia takes the story to a different conclusion – or maybe not?

Knightfall ended with Batman having a fiery, hot-headed protege named Azrael temporarily take up the mantle and become a wildly unstable version of Batman. My Hero Academia could arguably do the same if Deku gets “broken” and has to let his buddy Bakugo operate One For All for a time.

My Hero Academia is streaming new season 5 anime episodes weekly on Funimation and Hulu. New manga chapters are released FREE ONLINE every week.

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