Thursday, January 18, 2018

Star Wars Adventures: Forces of Destiny: Hera

The latest from Star Wars Adventures: Forces of Destiny, a series of single-issue adventures each focusing on different heroines of the Star Wars universe, centers around Phoenix Squadron's fearless leader Hera Syndulla and her contentious droid who run into some Imperial trouble while attempting to convince Fekunda Outpost to help supply the Rebellion in their fight against the Galactic Empire.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Black Lightning - The Resurrection

A D-List 70s super-hero seems an odd choice for The CW's newest show, especially knowing the show will be separate from Arrow and the other current super-hero series. Set in the corrupt town of Freeland, nine years after the super-hero's last appearance, controlled by a local gang known as the 100 led by Tobias Whale (Marvin 'Krondon' Jones III) and held together by a largely ineffectual police force, charter school principal Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is forced out of retirement during a pair of rough days involving a racist cop and a pair of rebellious daughters (China Anne McClain and Nafessa Williams) getting in over their heads with a gangbanger (Dabier). Black Lightning has returned.

The Flash - The Trial of The Flash

While Central City is slowly being poisoned by a new meta-human who is unknowingly radiating nuclear radiation, Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) stands trial for the murder of Clifford DeVoe (Neil Sandilands) without being able to reveal the reasons behind his obsession with the man or the fact that DeVoe is alive in another man's body (Kendrick Sampson). Unwilling to reveal his identity as the Flash, and unable to present much of a defense against a perfect frame without revealing his secret, Barry is quickly found guilty and sentenced to life without parole in the same prison where his father spent decades for a murder he didn't commit.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Supergirl - Legion of Super-Heroes

Supergirl returns from it's winter hiatus with Reign (Odette Annable) declaring brutal justice on National City, Mon-El (Chris Wood) calling in the help of Brainiac-5 (Jesse Rath) to deal with a comatose Kara (Melissa Benoist) trapped in her own mind, and the DEO desperate to stand against against the evil Kryptonian without the help of the Legion who are hesitant to take any action which may affect their future. Of course, the episode's title does give away the fact they the Legion taking some action before the closing credits roll. Given the revelation that Reign may have a few friends of her own, it looks like Kara is going to need all the help she can get.

Supergirl #17

Most of the action in Supergirl #17 comes from Supergirl's battle with the super-powered Starshame who takes a more murdery view of fighting crime than the Girl of Steel. The arrival of the DEO ends the battle prematurely, although not before Supergirl has the situation well in hand.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Together or Not at All

"Together or Not at All" finally unites most of the time-displaced fugitive Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., if only for part of a single episode as the team will split-up yet again before the episode's end. We get more of the family turmoil between the whiny Kasius (Dominic Rains) and uppity Faulnak (Samuel Roukin) that mercifully comes to an end with death of the later. In fact, there's quite a bit of Kree-on-Kree violence as Sinara (Florence Faivre) murders Maston-Dar (Remington Hoffman) despite the fact that the other warrior could have been useful in the capture of Daisy (Chloe Bennet).

Monday, January 15, 2018

Scooby-Doo Team-Up #33

When aliens from the future arrive in need of their help, Mystery, Inc. answers the call and travels to the 31st Century to help the Legion of Super-Heroes solve the mystery of the sudden appearance of a ghost of one of the team's former members (Ferro Lad) who has returned to haunt his former friends and demand the team disband.

Los Angeles Comic Con Best Cosplay 2017

The Good Place - Best Self

"Best Self" is a transitionary episode as the series shifts focus once again. Say what you want about some of the individual episodes, the series is certainly not afraid to take unexpected turns and keep the audience guessing about what may come next. Having tricked the demons into pursuing the missing humans to the Middle Place, Michael (Ted Danson) tries to stall for time by creating a transport to the Good Place that requires each of its passengers to be the best version of themselves leading to some heartfelt revelations all around, including Michael eventually coming clean with his friends.

The Librarians and the Hidden Sanctuary

"And the Hidden Sanctuary" continues to play on the concept of another Librarian leaving the Library. After Cassandra (Lindy Booth) freezes up during a mission, she decides to follow Flynn's (Noah Wyle) lead and take a sabbatical. Choosing to visit Havenport, the self-appointed "Safest Town in America," she does her best to ignore the obvious magic in place around the town preventing harm to anyone or anything. The curiosity of a young boy (Benjamin Flores Jr.) helps reignite her curiosity and show Cassandra you can take the Librarian out of the Library but you can't take the Library out of the Librarian.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Mister Miracle #6

Completing the first-half of the twelve-issue maxi-series, Mister Miracle #6 features Mister Miracle and Big Barda fighting their way through New Genesis while discussing/arguing about home renovation. Of all the hero couples, Scott and Barda have always been the most down-to-Earth (which is hilarious because neither is human), in large part to Scott's involvement in the JLI.

Friday, January 12, 2018

I, Tonya

I, Tonya is a compelling, if flawed, look at the life and career of Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) memorable mostly for the terrific performances of Robbie and co-star Allison Janney (as Tonya's mother). Framed as flashbacks told through a series of current interviews (which were actually shot as reference for the script) we watch a young Tonya struggle with acceptance in ice skating despite her obvious talent, her troubled relationships with her mother and husband (Sebastian Stan), and the events leading up to the attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan (Caitlin Carver).

While a bit too apologetic of Harding in an attempt to allow audiences to see her as the victim of circumstance she believes herself to be, writer Steven Rogers embraces the trashy tabloid nature of the the entire sordid affair going so far as to include Bobby Cannavale as a Hard Copy producer. Director Craig Gillespie's film isn't without its missteps including Robbie taking over the role of Tonya at 13 (seriously, was I the only one thinking of Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story at this point?) and some awkward CGI that doesn't always properly fit Robbie's face to her stunt double on the ice.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

SEAL Team - Containment

Hayes (David Boreanaz) and his team are sent to the Bulgarian port city of Varna to prevent the sell of dirty bombs on the black market. Things get more complicated after stopping the terrorists prior to their arrival at the port as the SEALs discover they aren't carrying run-of-the-mill dirty bombs but far more dangerous nuclear warheads which will need to be driven (very carefully) out of the area in rickety old trucks, across even more rickety old bridges, with more terrorists on the way to recover their stolen property.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #18

Red Hood and the Outlaws #18 feels a bit like a transitionary issue that flounders a bit before teasing what is to come. The latest issue opens with the Outlaws taking down a segment of H.I.V.E. attempting to push its way into the Gotham City underworld. We also get a cameo appearance from the Creeper who apparently has some backstory tied to Artemis and who Bizarro offers a spot on the team without first discussing such a move with his teammates.

Comiket 93 Cosplay Showcase

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Koshchei the Deathless #1

With the first issue of the new six-issue mini-series Hellboy creator Mike Mignola turns his attention back towards Koshchei, the cursed immortal sent to kill Hellboy by Baba Yaga in Hellboy: Darkness Calls. Opening with Hellboy and Koshchei in Hell, Koshchei the Deathless #1 takes place mostly in an extended flashback of the immortal sharing his tale including his apprenticeship under a dragon, his fame as a warrior, the tragedy of his marriage leading to death and immortality, and his first meeting with Baba Yaga.

Hendo's How-To: Teemo Hat & Gloves

Justice League Action - Eezy Freezy

"Eezy Freezy" is a bit of lighthearted fun featuring at team-up of Batman (Kevin Conroy) and Plastic Man out to capture Mr. Freeze (Peter Stormare). The short includes Plastic Man (Dana Snyder) taking on the shape of Santa's sleigh (with Santa no less) as well as a makeshift stand-in for the Bat-Cycle's front wheel after accidentally crashing into Batman. Not the most memorable of shorts, but fun nonetheless.

It's IKKiCON - 2018 New Year's Anime Cosplay Celebration

Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Blacklist - Ruin

"Ruin" jumps several months into the future following the death of Tom (Ryan Eggold) and Elizabeth's (Megan Boone) lengthy recovery with flashbacks slowly filling in the series of events which led the former FBI to settle in the wilderness. Meanwhile, in the present, Liz's hermitage is invaded by a dying man in an ice storm followed by a group claiming to be planewreck survivors but in fact are members of a crime family sent to bring back the state's witness Liz is trying so hard to save.

First Look - The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

We now have our first look at Disney's take on The Nutcracker. After a quiet 2017 it looks like we'll be getting far more of Keira Knightley this year, who stars here as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Mackenzie Foy, Helen Mirren, Matthew Macfadyen, and Morgan Freeman also star. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms opens in theaters on November 2nd.

Usagi Yojimbo #165

Usagi Yojimbo #165 concludes the three-part story of "The Mouse Trap" as the thief Nezumi continues to help Usagi and Inspector Ishida's investigation into the Black Goblin Gang, the recent murders (one of which the thief was framed for), and the theft of silver, all of which seem to lead back to a mysterious master of the gang.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

DRAGON CON 2017 Cosplay Showcase

Lucifer - City of Angels?

Set before the show's First Season, "City of Angels?" offers a glimpse at the various series regulars in the early days of Lucifer's (Tom Ellis) arrival on Earth long before he had become a nightclub owner or began his partnership with Chloe Decker (Lauren German). Breaking up the current arc, it seems an odd place to insert such an episode that doesn't (at least initially) add much to the season's bigger storylines. That said, there's plenty to enjoy here including the more acrimonious relationship between Lucifer and Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) and the angel's naivete at human existence.

Powerpuff Girls: The Bureau of Bad #1

Using a concept put to great use in one of the best Batman: The Animated Series episodes ever made, Powerpuff Girls: The Bureau of Bad #1 opens with the Townsville High Villains Council gathering together to gripe about what a menace the Power Girls are and who among them is worthy to lead the group against the pint-sized heroines. If the first issue is any indication, it will take a miracle for these villains to ever reach a consensus.

It's Dallas Fan Days 2017

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #12

Already confused about what direction to take now that the Slingers have kidnapped Cassandra Mercury as leverage to force the Scarlet Spider to turn himself in for the brutal attack on Thorne, the sudden return of Kaine (who has his own agenda in freeing the kidnapped club owner) only further complicates the situation. In the end the two Scarlet Spiders agree to work together.

The Librarians and the Graves of Time

"And the Graves of Time" brings back Nicole Noone (Sonya Walger) as Eve (Rebecca Romijn) hunts down the former Guardian and decides to help Nicole stop a group of thieves from robbing several of her graves of magical artifacts hidden in them over the centuries. With Jenkins (John Larroquette) firmly believing that Nicole harbors ill-will to both himself and the Library, and Eve and Flynn (Noah Wyle) both willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, the plot allows the character's true motivations to remain questionable up until the end when a powerful new villain is revealed (and, oddly, immediately dispensed with).

Battle of the Sexes

Battle of the Sexes works as a kind of CliffsNotes version of events leading up to the inter-gender 1973 tennis match between women's champion Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and aging men's star Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell). The script by Simon Beaufoy offers glimpses at both players' home lives, marital and emotional issues, and eventually the match itself. While Battle of the Sexes touches on the creation of the WTA and the rivalry with the men's tour, I'd have preferred more insight here and overall better framing of the historical importance of the match.

Cosplayer Christmas Gifts 2017 (That Cosplay Show)

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Top 10ish Movies of 2017

While 2017 lacked the one film to knock my socks off and earn itself a perfect score, it did turn out to be a deep year for quite a few quality films to whittle down into a single list. Here's the thing, I've got nine movies that made the cut and four equally-good movies to somehow try and fit into a single remaining slot. Rather than expand the list, break my list off one short of the magic number, or randomly pick one to include (doing a disservice to the others), I've decided to do something a bit different and give you some say in what movie rounds out the list. Here are The Top 10ish Movies of 2017.