In Chapter 309 of My Hero Academia, All Might finds a new way to be of use in the battle against the League of Villains, even without his powers.
Things have been a bit difficult for My Hero Academia‘s All Might ever since he used up the last shreds of his powers. While he had previously put all his effort into teaching the students of U.A., classes aren’t exactly in session at the moment, with the schools being reduced to fortified evacuation shelters in the wake of the Paranormal Liberation War. But in the latest chapter of the manga, All Might has found a new way to contribute, even from the back lines.
After being released from the hospital, Deku made the difficult decision to leave school, in order to avoid making U.A. a target for the villains who are out looking for him. He’s struck out on his own, acting as a vigilante and successfully taking down one of his most dangerous opponents to date. While he’s become more adept at controlling his powers, the world of My Hero Academia isn’t the sort where heroes do a lot of operating solo. But, as it turns out, he’s not entirely alone, as All Might still has his back, even if it’s only in the form of intel, equipment, and advice.
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In Chapter 309 of the manga, All Might provides Midoriya with some hero gear, implied to be made by an American friend of theirs, which helps him to mitigate the still-substantial damage that full-power attacks can do to his body. He’s also keeping in radio contact in order to provide info on developments on the fly, as well as coordinating Midoriya’s movements with the big-name pro heroes, like Hawks, Endeavor, and Best Jeanist, a trio whom they intend to team up with for the counterattack against the League of Villains. While running a support role like this is definitely a new skill set for All Might, he seems to have a bit of a talent for it.
As a manga that draws heavily from Western superhero comics, this does present an interesting parallel to another former superhero from DC’s Batman comics. In some iterations of Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl, she is paralyzed in a surprise attack by the Joker, rendering her unable to continue operating as a superhero due to her physical disabilities. All Might has similarly suffered a major injury from his archnemesis, and while it’s only part of the reason, the end result was that his capacity to do hero work continually diminished until the last embers of his power were snuffed out. However, Barbara Gordon didn’t allow her injuries to fully put a stop to her crimefighting efforts, as she instead transitioned to a support role, performing activities from computer hacking and intelligence gathering to research and scouting, and she began a new career as Oracle, guiding other heroes in the field. It seems All Might may finally be making this same transition, acknowledging that while his physical abilities may not be what they once were, he can still be an essential element in the battle against All for One.
The chapter ends with a tease of “the ultimate team-up,” with Deku and All Might featuring alongside those top three pro heroes. While some of them, like Endeavor, are known for being less than cooperative when it comes to team-ups, it seems that the stakes might be high enough that, with All Might limited to a support role, the stars may have aligned for the rivals to get along, even if it isn’t happening the way that My Hero Academia fans might have hoped.
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