Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Flash #31

I've got very mixed reactions on the latest issue of The Flash. On one-hand the new creative team offers up a storyline involving the theft of Central City villain weapons leading to a future peek at an old-style Mirror Master adventure complete with original costume, gun and hall of mirrors. Set 16 years in the future (is that how long we have to wait for The Rogues to be cool again?), and the future version of Barry Allen working his way back through time, it's the strongest part of the comic by far.

Sadly the current storyline, other than Barry discovering the theft of the weapons, leaves much to be desired. Brett Booth's choice to feature that awful yellow piping of the Flash's costume in every frame goes from distracting to downright infuriating before long. And the continuing B-story does nothing to sell me on the New 52 Wally West who continues to share far too many bad traits with the rebooted schmuck version of Billy Batson. The cover is also one of the weakest of the series, however if you want to spend some extra cash you can shell out for Mike Allred's fun classic-style variant. Hit-and-Miss.

[DC, $2.99]

Jessica Alba Sizzles and Entertains

Actress Jessica Alba helps promote her role in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For as the cover model for Entertainment Weekly's Special Double-Sized Summer Issue with a photo shoot and interview. You can find the pics from her cover shoot inside.

Vampire Academy kinda sucks

Based on the series of young-adult novels by Richelle Mead, Vampire Academy is a mash-up of Harry Potter, Underworld, and Mean Girls that is far less interesting than it sounds. Set in an actual Vampire Academy, the story centers around a vampire princess (Lucy Fry) and her half-human/half-vampire protector and best-friend (Zoey Deutch) traversing not only the terrors of high school but a much dangerous plot as well.

The confusing tale of vampires, mind-control, magic, teen drama, student vs. teacher dynamics, secrets, and first love is a clunky mess only saved, at times, by Deutch whose charms are wasted on this dog of a film that struggles to make use of a large ensemble which includes Sarah Hyland, Olga Kurylenko, and Gabriel Byrne.

Released on both Blu-ray and DVD, extras include an alternate opening better explaining the three vampiric races, a short introduction by Mead, and a collection of deleted scenes. The Blu-ray also includes an Ultraviolet digital copy of the movie.

[Anchor Bay Entertainment, Blu-ray $39.99 / DVD $29.98]

Friday, May 30, 2014

Black Canary and Zatanna - Bloodspell

Fishnets Unite! Taking place in a glorious world before DC's New 52 reboot, this graphic novel from writer Paul Dini and artist Joe Quinones unites Black Canary and Zatanna on case involving a dead killer and a blood curse which threatens Dinah's life. Offering us a glimpse at the pair's friendship over the years which began with a snowball fight on a Himalayan mountain, Dini and Quinones provide one of the most satisfying and FUN stories from DC that either heroine has been involved with in years.

The logic of the story itself is a little odd (did Black Canary really need to go undercover to take down this gang?), but the execution and choice to center it around two DC's most intriguing female figures, each of whom has made some questionable wardrobe choices over the years (also on display here), is an enjoyable read ending with a madcap final act involving the ghost jumping bodies pitting the pair against each other. Hopefully this refreshing old school take on the characters will prove successful enough to inspire DC to release other such projects. I certainly hope so.


Offering a new live-action take on Sleeping Beauty from the perspective of the original tale's villain, Maleficent is a pleasant surprise that works better than either of the recent disappointments, Mirror Mirror or Snow White and the Huntsman, both of which failed while attempting a similar approach to the retelling of Snow White.

Not without its own issues, most of which can be traced back to film's lethargic opening act explaining Maleficent's (Angelina Jolie) past and the series of events which led to her inevitable heel turn, Maleficent works largely due to the performances of Jolie and Elle Fanning (as the girl who would become known as Sleeping Beauty) and the film's impressive style and design. Jolie is perfect for the role, relishing every moment on-screen, although the movie doesn't really start moving until after Stefan's (Sharlto Copley) betrayal which leaves the most powerful member of the fairies hell-bent on revenge on the man who stole far more than her heart and ultimately choose power over love.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Nikita - The Final Season

The shortened final season of Nikita involves Nikita (Maggie Q) hunted for the assassination of President Spencer (Michelle Nolden), uncovering The Shop and Jones' (David S. Lee) army of duplicate soldiers around the globe, attempting to stop The Shop from starting a war between Afghanistan and the United States for their own profit, Nikita and her friends going from terrorist assassins to world heroes, and the show's finale which pits Nikita in one final battle against Amanda (Melinda Clarke).

Along the way Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca) will be framed as a terrorist, Sam (Devon Sawa) will struggle against his own nature to rediscover a bit of the good man he was as Owen, Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford) will reunite with his father (Judd Nelson), Michael (Shane West) and Nikita will spend much of the season working through their relationship issues, and Ryan Fletcher (Noah Bean) will sacrifice his life to reveal a final threat.

Daredevil #3

You know what they say about the best laid plans? Never lacking in self-confidence, Daredevil turns the betrayal of the Shroud (the discovery of which ended last month's issue) into a new plan to take down their common enemy: The Owl. Despite his "brilliant" plan of walking straight int the villain's lair, once again Daredevil finds himself walking blindly (forgive me) into a trap.

Setting up the Owl to be a major player on the West Coast, and perhaps long-running villain of the new series, Mark Waid certainly sells the intellect and venomous nature of a character who at times over his turbulent comic history which has varied wildly from legitimate threat to little more than a C-list version of the Vulture.

And, as expected, Waid and artist Chris Samnee confirm Foggy Nelson is still alive and in hiding for his own safety. Judging by the chance Foggy takes here (entering the law office in a flimsy disguise) it's a secret that won't stay buried for long. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

Black Canary by WhiteLemon

Uncanny X-Men #21

Cyclops and Magik showing up at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning turns out badly for everyone as some mysterious force forces both mutants to lose control of their powers, and Maria Hill and the fake Dazzler's attempt to show up and take custody of Cyclops ends with S.H.I.E.L.D. losing control of the Hellicarrier and attacking a school of students - much to the glee of the mysterious figure who continues to watch from a distance and make his puppets dance.

The issue's back-up story takes Magneto back to Madripoor (for unexplained reasons which only marginally really fit his current path in his own ongoing series). There the team's former member discovers the true fate of Dazzler at the same time Beast makes a discovery concerning the identity of their unseen enemy. With those insights and Hill's realization that someone has been forcibly maneuvering a war between the X-Men and S.H.I.E.L.D. should hopefully lead to a big reveal and some real answers beginning next month. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3,99]

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Green Hornet #12

Despite recent events and the heavy guilt carried by Britt Reid, the Green Hornet and Kato manage to put the final pieces of the hero's plan into action and deal a massive blow to crime in the city. Choosing to fake the Hornet's death as well, Reid is prepared to close the chapter on the vigilante masquerading as a crime boss forever, but things don't quite work out as planned.

Wrapping up quite a bit, including making sure Lieutenant Dugan goes down for the murder of his wife, while forcing the Hornet to continue to deal with the guilt surrounding his unintentional role in the murder of Fulton's daughter, writer Mark Waid still leaves the final fate of both Britt Reid and the Green Hornet to be decided heading into next month's final issue of the series. Someone has obviously discovered the Hornet's true identity but we'll have to wait a month to discover who is responsible for stealing the costumes of Green Hornet and Kato and what exactly they have in mind for the newspaperman turned vigilante. Worth a look.

[Dynamite Entertainment, $3.99]

Supergirl by Ainlina

24: Live Another Day - 3pm - 4pm

After taking Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) into custody, Kate (Yvonne Strahovski) finds herself once again on the outside of events. With her career all but finished, nothing left to loose, and believing Bauer's story of the imminent drone attack, Kate delivers the remaining flight recorder data to Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub) who uncovers enough evidence to convince President Heller (William Devane) and even Boudreau (Tate Donovan) of the truth behind Bauer's story.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #3

The return of Dracula is always a good sign, starting with Xander and Dawn traveling to the vampire's castle to enlist Dracula's help to deal with the new kind of vampires who possess several of his skills as well as being able to fight in sunlight.

Thanks don't get any easier for Xander once transporting his former master back to America, although Dracula does give thought to enlisting Andrew as his new manservant. The villain's inevitable turn after deciphering how valuable the Vampyr tome is to the new laws of magic set up serious ramifications for all involved - especially Xander. The tension between Xander and Dawn continues to grow producing both humorous and awkward moments such as Xander's reaction go Giles trying to play Grand Theft Auto like a gentleman.

Co-written by Nicholas Brendon the dialogue feels as sharp as ever, and not just with Xander as Buffy and Willow share the kind of bestie moment we haven't seen between them in quite some time. Must-Read.

[Dark Horse, $2.99]

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Batman: The Brave and the Bold - Season One

Odds are if you're a Batman: The Brave and the Bold fan you've long ago picked up the episodes on DVD. Tired of waiting years for a complete set (or even separate full season sets) I eventually picked up the heavily discounted the previously half-season releases. However for those who have been holding out, or those unfamiliar with the show until now, the Complete First Season has finally arrived on both Blu-ray and DVD.

The set-up was relatively simple. Borrowing both its premise and its title from DC's long-running team-up book which ran from 1955-1983, the show teamed Batman (Diedrich Bader) up with a revolving cast of guest-stars heroes (from both the Silver Age and pre-New 52 Mondern Age) to take on various threats and super-villains over the show's three-year run. Collecting the first 26 episodes of the series on 4 discs (or 2 Blu-rays), which is arguably the weakest of the bunch as you can tell the show was struggling to find the right mix of Bat-tastic adventure and Silver Age campiness which became its trademark style.

Velvet #5

Concluding the series opening arc, Velvet #5 offers us more into the past of Velvet Tempelton than the previous four issues combined. Caused by the final line of last month's issue where Velvet learned that Mockingbird was never a double-agent, this month involves an extended look back at the love affair with the man who would be Velvet's partner and husband - and also the man she threw from a hotel window on orders from her superiors.

Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting also deliver a glimpse at Velvet at age 16 and the spy who trained the exceptional young woman and trained her to become one of the agency's best before her own life went off the rails and ended in despair and death on the floor of a cheap hotel room.

For those waiting for a little more insight into who Velvet is and what makes her tick, Velvet #5 is an issue you don't want to miss. It also lays the groundwork by alerting the character than her hidden enemy has done far more damage to her life than recently framing Velvet for murder. I can't wait to see where her story goes from here. Best of the week.

[Image, $3.50]

I, Frankenstein

Written and directed by Stuart Beattie, I, Frankenstein is a ridiculous action-thriller setting Frankenstein's monster, known here as Adam (Aaron Eckhart), in present day in the middle of a war between heavenly gargoyles and demons led by Prince Naberius (Bill Nighy).

With dialogue as laughable as the plot itself involving Naberius' plans to use Frankenstein's research to create and army of unstoppable warriors, I, Frankenstein is really only worth viewing for the special effects and Yvonne Strahovski as a modern-day scientist working on reviving Frankenstein's work without realizing who exactly she's working for.

Available on both DVD and 3D Blu-ray, extras include digital Ultraviolet copies of the movie, audio commentary from Beattie, and a second commentary from Gary Lucchesi, Richard Wright, James McQuaide, and Kevin Grevioux, trailer, and a pair of featurettes on Adam, the make-up, special effects, and monsters of the film.

[Lions Gate, DVD $29.95 / Blu-ray $39.99]

Continuum - So Do Our Minutes Hasten

Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) finds herself in the unenviable task of disproving Liber8's responsibility for an anti-corporate attack that leaves 12 dead and appears to fit their modus operandi (at least on the surface). Paired with Dillon (Brian Markinson) who is all too eager to pin the chemical attack on Fermitas on the terrorist group, Kiera enlists the help of Betty (Jennifer Spence) to dig a bit deeper and even receives a visit from Garza (Luvia Petersen) who claims Liber8 is being framed for the crime.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day with Keira

Memorial Day with Mila

Nova #17

Seeing how next month the comic will start tying into Marvel's new summer event Original Sin, a crossover I have no interest in or plans on reading, this will probably be my last Nova comic for a few months. Although there's not big super-threat, there's quite a bit going on here as Nova struggles with his family's financial troubles, still learning to use his super-powers to save those around him, and deal with his kid sister who puts on the Nova helmet for the first time (with disastrous results).

Continuing the comic's common theme of a young hero still finding his footing, Nova #17 features more mixed success for Sam Alexander as neither his attempt to save his home with a giant radioactive chunk of gold nor preventing an oil tanker's explosion have exactly the desired outcomes.

The comic ends on an ominous note teasing the death of The Watcher and Origin Sin which Nova will be playing a big role in. Burnt out on crossover events, I plan on checking back with same once the dust settles. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

The Nut Job

Centered around a selfish squirrel named Surly (Will Arnett) and his mute rat pal Buddy who are exiled from their home in Liberty Park after the squirrel's latest act of selfishness costs the rest of the animals the much-need food for the winter, The Nut Job is a mess that tries to do far too much (most of it not all that well). There's a nice message buried deep, deep, deep down, but I'm betting most will lose interest before discovering it.

Batman '66 #11

Offering an origin story for Harley Quinn, the latest issue of Batman '66 involves the Joker and Catwoman preying on the scientific curiosity of Arkham Asylum's naive psychologist in order to use her to not only break-out during an inmate talent show but also perfect a new invention to share the Joker's madness with all of Gotham.

With no back-up story this time around, Batman '66 #11 features an extended single story of Batman, Robin, and Batgirl working together to track down the escaped criminals. Although able to stop their plot, Dr. Quinzel's noble sacrifice of putting her own mind in the machine leaves her clinically insane meaning we may get to see what a 60s version of Harley Quinn would look like sometime in the near future.

The Joker's plot certainly works well, and teaming him up with Catwoman offers a reason for Batgirl to find her way into the comic's main story - something I hope we'll see more of in the months to come. Worth a look.

[DC, $3.99]

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday with Adèle

She-Hulk #4

The final issue of the new series' opening arc only reaffirms my position that She-Hulk and Daredevil need to be working, and practicing law, in the same city as She-Hulk makes a stop in San Fransisco to pick Matt Murdock's brain about her recent case involving the son of Victor von Doom before setting out to Latveria on her own to do something about it.

She-Hulk #4 not only gives us Marvel's two law-practicing crime-fighters together but also plenty of Doombots as She-Hulk sneaks into Latveria and then makes a destructive appearance at Castle Doom to draw the attention of a giant Doombot and make her case for her client.

With everything else more or less wrapped up, the comic turns its attention to the mysterious Blue File teased in the first issue as She-Hulk returns home and asks for the help of both Angie Huang and Hellcat to get to the truth of a forgotten lawsuit involving herself and several heroes and super-villains. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness - Owl Be Back

Po (Mick Wingert) senses his friends pulling back from him as his mastery of Kung Fu grows to include the Dragon Warrior performing an ancient attack known as Thundering Wind Hammer not seen successfully performed in a generation. To explain the concern of his friends, Shifu (Fred Tatasciore) shares the harsh truth about previous incarnations of the Furious Five whose most powerful members have all turned evil including Shifu's former teammate Fenghuang (Wendie Malick).

Fairest #26

"Of Men and Mice" comes to a close and Cinderella and her friends fight off a mouse invasion of the Fabletown castle which Snow White is certain was planned (it was) and executed (it wasn't) by Prince Brandish.

The final issue of the arc certainly sees plenty of action as Cindy and her group punch, stab, kick, and skewer an ungodly number of crazed mice warriors before the arrival of Cinderella's fairy godmother whose original spell laid the work for the current chaos and shows up just in time to help end it.

I've enjoyed this arc and I'm sad to see it coming to an end realizing with the end of both this title and Fables it's likely the last major Cinderella story we're going to get. As the character who hooked me on this world, I'll miss her most of all. Hopefully we'll see Cindy step in to help fight off Leigh's intended chicanery, but if not I'm happy to see the character go out kicking some serious butt in style one more time. Worth a look.

[Vertigo, $2.99]

Kristen Stewart UK Fit for Marie Claire

Actress Kristen Stewart is the cover girl for the May issue of Marie Claire UK. You can find the rest of her cover shoot inside.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Shadow #25

The end of the Chinatown zombie storyline, and the current run of The Shadow, comes to a close with The Shadow #25. After witnessing more and more of New York City being overrun by an unstoppable zombie horde, The Shadow puts sets his mind to finding a plausible scientific reason behind recent bizarre events which will lead him to call on the assistance of his entire network of spies at once and face down the Zombie Queen of Chinatown.

After discovering the dastardly truth behind the mad woman's plot, our hero puts his soldiers to work administering antidote to the mind-controlled horde only appearing to have died before rising and beginning their assault on the city. Dispensing swift justice, The Shadow closes his latest case making way for Dynamite's new ten-issue series set more than a decade later in Lamont Cranston's crime-fighting career taking The Shadow and Margo Lane to Russia at the beginning of the Cold War. Although short, this bizarre final arc ends the series on a strong note. I'm sorry to see it end. Worth a look.

[Dynamite Entertainment, $3.99]

The Pretty Little Liars Show Off their GQ Style

Promoting the season premiere of the show's Fifth Season on June 10th, Pretty Little Liars stars Shay Mitchell, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, and Troian Bellisario posed for pool party style photo shoot in the June issue of GQ. You can find the pics inside.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Hoping to bridge the gap between the success of X-Men: First Class and the more star-studded original X-Men films, and wash the taste of how horrifically that series ended, 20th Century Fox brought back director Bryan Singer and decided on adapting one of the long-running comic's most popular stories for the big screen. The task set before Singer was no small one but the director steps up with X-Men: Days of Future Past and, in a Geoff Johns-ian effort of making disparate (and often inane) pieces fit, finds a way to deliver the best X-Men movie to date.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Big Hero 6 teaser trailer

Based on the comic of the same name, Disney's first animated Marvel movie centers around a group of six superheroes are recruited by the Japanese government to protect the nation. Set in the fictional city of San Fransokyo this initial teaser gives us a look at young prodigy Hiro Hamada and his robot Baymax who hope to join the fledgling team. The voice cast includes Josh Hutcherson, Freddie Highmore, Jamie Chung, T.J. Miller, Samuel L. Jackson, and Maya Rudolph. The film opens in theaters on November 7th.


Although the storyline doesn't veer far from well-established basic themes we've seen in countless films over the years involving reinventing your life, father-son dynamics, road trips, and overcoming adversity, with the right ingredients and cast writer/director/star Jon Favreau delivers a sumptuous treat as delectable as the various food on display. Calling on the help of a handful of his old Iron Man buddies, Favreau offers up his best film yet in front of, or behind, the camera.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Justice League United #1

Not as strong as the new series' opening zero issue, Justice League United #1 features the newly constituted Justice League Canadian team taking on a giant monster who is more than a match for Green Arrow, Animal Man, Stargirl, and the Martian Manhunter. While offering the same humor of last month's issue, and wasting no time to get Adam Strange into a New 52 version of his trademark costume, things get a little bloodier this time around (particularly in the B-story involving Hawkman's battle with pseudo-Lobo in space).

While I still think this group of heroes can work, I'm having some doubts about the initial set-up here as it looks like it's going to take at least a couple more issues to bring the full team together and make sense of things. A more straightforward first story, more centered on establishing the dynamics of the group and how the team works together would probably have worked better rather than throwing us into a pair of separate stories light years apart which are likely only to get more complicated as the Canadian group is transported to Rann. For fans.

[DC, $3.99]

24: Live Another Day - 2pm - 3pm

After forcing his way into the U.S. Embassy and finding drone pilot Chris Tanner (John Boyega) and the soldier's flight key, Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) finds getting out of the frying pan is much harder than jumping in once the heat starts rising. Unable to escape, Bauer barricades himself in the embassy's secure communication room hoping to buy enough time to decode and transmit the drone data to Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub). Sadly, he won't be successful.

Thursday with Shay

Fables #140

After burying what they believe is all that's left of Puss in Boots, Briar Rose leads the rest of the group onward defeating one enemy by less than chivalrous means and to a final battle against the evil witch Baoban Sith and her demon dogs. Wrapping up the two-issue arc, one member of the group will indeed give his life for their cause, however it turns out not to be Puss who keeps finding ways to survive (and even convince unlikely allies to join their cause).

Along with both action and witty dialogue, writer Bill Willingham also reveals the unexpected cause for the end of Fabletown (and for Fables itself as the comic is now down to its final ten issues). Neither old enemy nor new it seems will be the refuge's undoing, but the mere fact of its populace realizing it's now same, and time, to return home as Seamus does here.

I'm happy to see Puss and Boots return, and even survive his second death scene, but there's certainly a tinge of melancholy hear and Willingham begins revealing the end of a comic I may have come late to but have grown to love. Worth a look.

[Vertigo, $2.99]

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures #11

For the second issue in a row this month's main story centers around Michelangelo who befriends a damaged Foot robot, teaching "Sparky" the merits of heroism and even go so far as to don costumes and fight crime together as Captain Karate and Sparky. Of course Mikey isn't quite as smooth as hiding his new pursuits from Donatello, Raphael, and Leonardo as he thinks.

Goofy to be sure, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures #11 turns out to be a lot of fun as Mikey gets to live out his dreams of being a super-hero and having a sidekick - at least until Karai shows up waning to know what the Turtle has done to her robot.

While not quite as entertaining, the episode's back-up story features the Turtles interrupting the Kraang's latest Mutagen experiment transforming a cut little bunny into something for the Turtles to push through a portal (after their done beating up the Kraang). Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

Re-Released on Home Video: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

I know there are those that feel otherwise, but I like Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and appreciate the kind of story director Jonathan Mostow and screenwriters John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris set out to tell.

Whereas the first Terminator had no higher goal than that of straight-forward monster movie (still the best Hollywood has produced in the last 30 years), and Judgement Day was more concerned with action that developing the themes presented in the first film, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is the only movie of the three that is actually a sci-fi film at its core. That fourth film starring Christian Bale? Yeah... we don't talk about that one.

Picking up years after the second film, Rise involves John Connor (Nick Stahl) finally beginning to understand and embrace the destiny which was introduced in The Terminator.

Princess Rapunzeleia by Maid of Might Cosplay

Worlds' Finest #23

Discovering with the right hardware she can indeed open up a portal home, the latest issue of Worlds' Finest centers around Power Girl doing just that. Selling off the rest of her company to make her gateway, revealing her super-powers to her employees, and throwing all caution to he wind, Karen Star starts the machine and... blacks out the entire city.

As Power Girl is busy trying to restore power to the city (even if she has to fight off the U.S. Military to do it), the blackout helps out a trio of robbers intent on stealing dangerous nuclear material from a reactor at M.I.T. which leads the Huntress to swing into the action.

Although I'm against Helena and Kara returning home to Earth-2, and less than thrilled with the return of Desaad teasing what will likely be a larger role in upcoming issues, Worlds' Finest provides a healthy mix of both humor and action from the pair of kick-ass heroines that fans should enjoy. Worth a look.

[DC, $2.99]

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Mentalist - Blue Bird

When the FBI receive a note from killer threatening to come out of retirement unless the FBI stops him, Lisbon's (Robin Tunney) transfer to D.C. is put on hold as she, Jane (Simon Baker), Fischer (Emily Swallow), and Cho (Harry Groener) head down to Miami on one last case together. While questioning the husband (Vincent Spano) and daughter (Haley Hudson) of the first victim, the victim's former business partner (Victoria Smurfit), and the original suspect (George Finn) who was eventually cleared Jane shows each of them the killer's note not realizing just how many will act on it before the season finale comes to a close.

Smallville Season Eleven: Lantern #2

Just as Superman begins to get the hang of being the latest member of the Green Lantern Corps (a position he's still trying to find a way to decline) thanks to the tutelage of John Stewart, the Earth is attacked by out-of-control Manhunters believing that some treaty between the Guardians former protectors and its current, less-robotic, group has been broken.

Along with cameo appearances by Salaak and Aya, Kilowog, and Ch'p (but sadly not G'nort) the comic also features Parallax as writer Bryan Q. Miller and artist Marcio Takara attempt to boil down the convoluted history of the Corps and make it fit inside the Smallville Universe.

The choice to have the Manhunters powered by yellow rings is an interesting one which offers Parallax the opportunity to send out rings for ring bearers of his own which will likely set-up an all-out ring slingin' war in the latest mini-series remaining two issues. There's also a B-story involving Prometheus who I'm really hoping this version of Ollie won't have to kill in the name of "justice." Worth a look.

[DC, $3.99]

Lea Michele - On My Way

Here's Glee star Lea Michele with the official video for "On My Way," the second single from her 2014 debut solo album Louder.

Longmire – The Complete Second Season

Longmire's Second Season presents new crimes of the week to solve in Absaroka County while continuing ongoing storylines of the election of town sheriff and Detective Fales' (Charles S. Dutton) investigation into the murder of the man responsible for the death of the wife of Sheriff Longmire (Robert Taylor). Highlights of the season include the season opener as the sheriff tracks an escaped serial killer through the snowy wilderness, Longmire looking into a couple who want each other dead, Vic (Katee Sackhoff) being stalked by a man from her past (Lee Tergesen), murder tied to an illegal rodeo, the armed hijacking of a cattle trailer, Branch (Bailey Chase) searching for the truth behind the attack on Cady (Cassidy Freeman), a murder by alcohol poisoning, and the season finale as Henry (Lou Diamond Phillips) is arrested for murder.

The three-disc set includes all 13 episodes, introduction from the show's executive producers for two extended episodes, and a behind-the-scenes featurette.

[Warner Home Video, $39.98]

Star Wars #17

After teasing us over the past couple of issues with the looming betrayal of Arrochar and its monarchy, it finally arrives just hours before Leia's wedding which was meant to seal the alliance between the Rebels and the planet's leaders against the Empire.

Although there is an attack in the palace just before the wedding, and an armada of Star Destroyers appears in orbit led by none other than Darth Vader himself, the majority of Star Wars #17 focuses on Luke and how quickly what started out as him tagging along with a group of soldiers to change a fuel cell on a mountain outpost soon turns deadly as the group's true agenda of leaving Luke dead in the mountains becomes evident.

The return of Obi-Wan's guidance helps save Luke's life and prepare him for the deception to come, but I wonder home much of Ben's ghostly wisdom the comic should and/or will use going forward as Luke's own instincts should have likely warned him of the danger (even with his only limited understanding of the Force). Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $2.99]

Monday, May 19, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy trailer

Folks, the new Guardians of the Galaxy trailer is here. Can we just skip what looks to be a mostly lackluster slate of June and July movies and jump straight to August? Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel star as the odd collection of space-fairing misfits and killers turned heroes known as The Guardians of the Galaxy. Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, Michael Rooker, and John C. Reilly also star. Guardians of the Galaxy opens in theaters on August 1st.

All-New X-Men #27

Picking up where the last issue left off, All-New X-Men #27 focuses on the attack of Cyclops' secret base by the Future Brotherhood of Mutants led by Xavier (the son of Charles Xavier and Mystique from an alternate future).

Offering flashbacks to Xavier's birth, the first appearance of his powers, and seeking out his half-brother Raze, All-New X-Men #27 fills in some of the blanks for those of us not sure exactly who these characters are. That said, their motives are still a bit hard to understand (or why the older version of Jean Grey is continually masked when everyone knows who she is).

Smartly, the group attacks the team's psychics taking down the Cuckoos and then turns its attention to Cyclops, Emma Frost, and Jean Grey (who Xavier psychically reaches out to at the end of the issue). Even with a full issue of action, there's not much here in terms of advancing the story as the Brotherhood is only marginally more in control of their attack on the base than it is at the beginning. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Pizza Face

In one of the most bizarre episodes of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon yet, Michelangelo (Greg Cipes) becomes suspicious of Antonio's Pizza-Rama whose latest pizza pies are living creatures who turn those who eat them - like April (Mae Whitman), Leonardo (Jason Biggs), Donatello (Rob Paulsen), Raphael (Sean Astin), and Splinter (Hoon Lee) - into zombies.

Astro City #12

Rather than a hero, casual observer, or someone on the fringes of super-hero activity, the latest issue of Astro City examines the life of a costume criminal known as the Gentleman Bandit. Obsessed from a young age with wealth and a well-tailored suit, Astro City #12 follows the highs and lows of the robber and with various costumed groups such as the Menagerie Gang, the Sweet Adelines, and the Gatsbies. Although I'm glad for the return of a one-shot adventure, I have to admit Astro City #12 makes me hope we see more of this character.

Obsessed with the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood, the glory days for Edward "Ned" James Carroway involved working alone and with other "Dapper Dans" or "Clotheshorses" whose robberies always included a touch of style and grace and providing an ideal life for his wife and daughter. However, after being caught first by Jack-in-the-Box and later the Confessor we also see the lows of Ned's life which include loosing his family and being lured once again back into a life of crime by old friends and a pair of expensive shoes. Worth a look.

[Vertigo, $3.99]

Continuum - Waning Minute

The imprisonment of Curtis Chen (Terry Chen) in the Freelancers prison alongside one of the two Alec Sadlers (Erik Knudsen) and Stefan Jaworski (Mike Dopud), a criminal from her own time, create an extended flashback to Kiera's (Rachel Nichols) time with the Jaworski at an illegal farming community in the future after a transport crashed that left Kiera cut-off from her CMR. Recent betrayals, and reliving those moments, will leave Kiera Cameron changed forever as an episode spent entirely in her past may have the greatest impact of shaping her future.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Teen Titans Go! - Real Magic

Raven (Tara Strong) gets increasing frustrated with the rest of the team first for being so mesmerized by Mumbo Jumbo's (Tom Kenny) magic tricks that they don't even realize the villain is robbing their favorite diner and later when Robin (Scott Menville) begins doing similar tricks back at Titans Tower.

Fatale #22

Winding ever-closer to the comic's conclusion, writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips take a step back with the latest issue of Fatale to examine the life of the Bishop, his rebirth during the 1906 San Fransisco earthquake, the pleasure he once took in death and pain, his obsession with Josephine whose sacrifice would have allowed the world to "turn" but instead left him a hobbled shell of his former self, and how the glory of his gifts turned to ash when she escaped.

It's certainly a dark issue, presented completely from the mind of the creature who was once a man (and now does thing such as listen for answers from a tree of hanging dead babies) looking back on his life. Balanced against these events are his current actions discovering a bread crumb (inadvertantly?) left by Joespehine and preparing for the next convergence when he might once again be able to complete the sacrifice and... well, whatever would happen certainly wouldn't be good for Josephine or the rest of the world. Worth a look.

[Image, $3.50]

Elementary - The Grand Experiment

Believing Mycroft's (Rhys Ifans) handler Sharington (Ralph Brown) to be the mole and the man framing his brother for his crimes, publicly Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) condemns Mycroft to MI:6 while sequestering Mycroft and working alongside Watson (Lucy Liu) to find a way to prove his brother's innocence (even when every bit of evidence gathered only makes him appear more guilty).