As part of our Pokémon 25th anniversary coverage, we've been talking to comics creators about the impact that Pokémon has had on their lives. We previously spoke to Ben Kahn, co-writer of the upcoming Renegade Rule from Dark Horse Comics, and their answer regarding hopes for Pokémon's landmark year and future deserved its own piece.
What do you as a Pokémon fan hope to see in 2021 for the franchise's 25th anniversary?
Kahn: *Pulls out comically long scroll*
Alllllright! Buckle up because you better believe I have requests. Some I hope really happen this year, some are more long-term hopes, and some are just pie in the sky dreams. Let's go! (get it? Cause Let's GO was one of the games. It's a reference!)
– I would really like all of the Pokémon to be transferable to Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. It was tough not being able to use so many old favorites in Sword and Shield, but it's gotten a lot better with the DLC introducing so many more. I just hope BDSP keeps moving forward for the full Pokedex instead of limiting us to a different number of Pokémon all over again. Also, I've got a particular team I've been wanting to use for these games, so it'll be a bit disappointing if I can't use it.
– You'll hear this one aplenty from the fanbase, but I'd love to see Mega Evolutions return. It's been by far the best gimmick, and it's a shame not being able to access such awesomely designed forms. And c'mon, give my Sceptile back its Dragon-typing!
– More regional variants! These are such a great feature, giving new typings and designs to old favorites. Since they were introduced, I try to have a regional variant on each of my main teams. I used Alola Raichu in Sun and Runerigus in Sword. I don't think we'll see Sinnoh Forms in BDSP, but maybe we'll get 'ancient variants' in Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
– Give Sceptile better attacks! My boy's got a great 105 Sp. Attack (that becomes a downright monstrous 145 for Mega Sceptile), and little to use with it! After Energy Ball, Leaf Storm, and Dragon Pulse, it's almost all physical attacks. I say let Sceptile learn Thunderbolt to go with its Lightning Rod ability as Mega Sceptile.
– Can we just make Pokémon following you a permanent feature? They keep introducing it only to take it away again. Yellow, HGSS, Amity Park, the Isle of Armor & Crown Tundra – it's an absolute blast to have your Pokémon following you on your adventure. We all want to travel in this world beside our best buddies, so let's make it a permanent feature.
– Can we revamp the Mythical Pokémon giveaways? Having a UPS guy show up in a PokéCenter to hand you a mythological being of unfathomable power and rarity is more than a little lacking in the story and atmosphere department. The peak of Mythical Pokémon was Gen 4, when they had all those cool events and locations. Would love to see that kind of content return with the new DLC format.
– Make. Ice-types. Viable! I've been playing for nearly 25 years, and I've never run an ice type on a team. And why would I? They have all the weaknesses in the world, and every Water-type can learn all the strongest Ice moves. Would it kill GameFreak to give us a special sweeper with good speed? Galarian Darmanitan is definitely a step in the right direction though, especially with its wonderful Ice/Fire Zen-Mode form.
– I hope Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a big success, and we see more entrants in the Legends series down the line. By far, the sequel I'd most want to see is Pokémon Legends: Zygarde. Zygarde really got the short end of the stick in Gen 6, what with there never being a Pokémon Z. That plus how much is unexplored from that war in Kalos 3,000 years ago, and you've got a backdrop for a Pokémon game like none other.
– Okay, this one's real pie in the sky, but I want a live-action Detective Pikachu spin-off starring the Squirtle Squad where Dennis Leary voices the gruff Squirtle captain.
Make sure to check out RENEGADE RULE, a queer eSports action-comedy OGN was written by Ben Kahn and Rachel Silverstein with art by Sam Beck and letters by Jim Campbell. Published by Dark Horse Comics, it's out in comic stores on May 26th, 2021.