Sunday, February 25, 2018

Batman #41


Batman #41 kicks off a new arc with Part One of "Everyone Loves Ivy." Everyone has fallen under Poison Ivy's control, including Batman and Catwoman, only quick thinking by the Dark Knight Detective saves himself and his bride to be. Now the two lovebirds find themselves in a world where Ivy's reach is near infinite. All their loved ones, all the heroes, all the villains, all the people are under her sway.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Annihilation


I love Ex Machina (enough to name it my favorite film of 2015), but holy hell is director Alex Garland's follow-up project a clusterfuck. Based on the novel of the same name by Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation focuses on a biologist and former soldier (Natalie Portman) who chooses to journey into a rainbow-curtain rift (referred to as a shimmer) with four other female scientists (Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tuva Novotny, and Tessa Thompson) in hopes of understanding what is happening inside and what the anomaly did to her husband (Oscar Isaac) who was the only soldier sent from any of the previous expeditions to make it out alive.

Altered Carbon - Force of Evil


The fourth episode of Altered Carbon puts the murder investigation on hold, where it will continue to simmer as only a minor priority for the rest of the season. Captured at the end of the last episode, "Force of Evil" features Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman) being forcibly tortured by Dimi (Michael Eklund) who has mistakenly taken him for the person who used to walk around in his new body. In order to withstand the torture, Kovacs thinks back on his training as an envoy which begins to fill in the character's backstory a bit more and help explain why he's such a bad ass to be reckoned with. As in his training, eventually our protagnoist will gain control of the simulation and take advantage of his captors leaving several dead bodies in his wake once he makes it back to the real world. Dimi will stick around and be a minor thorn in our character's side until the true antagonist of the series is revealed.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Supergirl #18


Picking up directly following the last issue, Supergirl #18 features the DEO unleashing a xenophobic alien on a high school dance in hopes of taking out the Girl of Steel. Our villain of the moment, an alien from a world destroyed by its exposure to extraterrestrial life, brings plenty of personal grief to the fight while believing removing Supergirl is ultimately the best thing for the Earth. When she discovers that Kara isn't looking to change Earth, but that her adopted home and its people have changed Supergirl's view of life, out antagonist loses the will to continue the conflict any further.

Legends of Tomorrow - Here I Go Again


The latest episode of Legends of Tomorrow sticks Zari (Tala Ashe) in a "Hedgehog Day" time-loop as an unfortunate side-effect to her tampering with the ship. While not as clever as Dark Matter's "All the Time on the World," the show's writers have fun with the concept which allows a frustrated Zari to get to know her crewmates (who are stuck in ridiculous ABBA costumes for most of the episode) better as she fails to save them each time before the Waverider explodes and time resets once again. The actual explanation of her predicament also allows for Gideon (Amy Louise Pemberton) to take physical form.

KATSUCON 2018 Cosplayers Paradise (Part 1)

Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #14


The latest issue of Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider is a bit of a departure for the comic as the primary story focuses not on Ben Reilly but on the other Scarlet Spider, Kaine. Really the only thing you need to know about the issues is this: Kaine fights a hippopotamus dude who would fit right in with Bebop and Rocksteady. If that doesn't interest you, I don't know what to say (partially because there's really not much more to the issue). Still, Scarlet Spider versus Hippo!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Star Wars Rebels - Jedi Night


Star Wars Rebels returns from hiatus with the rescue of Hera (Vanessa Marshall) from the Empire and a farewell to one of the show's core characters. While ordering Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) back to the core feels like a bit of a cheat to keep the stench of failure off his hands, the small Lothal rebels do complete their mission in rescuing a drugged, tortured, but still spirited, Hera from the Empire. As to the loss, there is plenty of foreshadowing in the episode, such as giving control of the rescue mission to Ezra (Taylor Gray) and the emotional moments between the former Jedi and the Ghost's captain, and actually even more in the episodes leading up to "Jedi Night," that Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.) may be the first Rebel to fall. That said, the show does the character proud with his heroic sacrifice to complete the mission and make sure that his friends made it out alive.

Anime Los Angeles 2018 Cosplay Showcase

Xena: Warrior Princess #1


The new series from writer Meredith Finch and artist Vicente Cifuentes goes back the beginning as a wandering Xena comes across young Gabrielle at the mercy of three of the warrior princess' former soldiers turned marauders. Stepping in to teach the trio a lesson on how to treat a woman, our heroine finds herself stuck with a talky companion on the road to Athens.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Beyond - Bedposts


"Bedposts" continues the them of Holden (Burkely Duffield) and Willa (Dilan Gwyn) getting along better with others than each other as Willa hangs out with Luke (Jonathan Whitesell) and Holden spends time with Charlie (Eden Brolin). When both pairs end up at the same bowling alley arcade, awkwardness ensues and truths are revealed. However, the main conflict of the episode is saved for the final five minutes as Diego (Oscar Camacho) finally catches up to Holden, leading to some serious destruction at the bowling alley long after his friends had abandoned the show's protagonist.

Chun-Li by Gloria Conrique (SacAnime 2018)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

#GetOutOneYearLater


Jordan Peele and AMC are giving away tickets to free screenings of Get Out on Presidents' Day in 55 AMC thaeaters across the United States. Each guest who requests a ticket the day of the screening (Monday, February 19th) — at a participating location — will be given one free admission to the 7:00 p.m. showing, up to theatre capacity. Click here to request a ticket and check inside for the full press release which includes a list of all cities where the free showings will occur and information about artwork that the film has inspired over the course of the year.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Black Panther


While ultimately falling into the category of a lesser Marvel film, there's still quite a bit to enjoy about Black Panther which develops the African country of Wakanda (which is far more advanced than almost anyone in the outside world suspects). Black Panther seems a bit out of place as Marvel gears up for its big crossover cosmic event in Infinity War as it is arguably the least connected film to the larger overall franchise since the first movies premiered a decade ago.

Altered Carbon - Fallen Angel / In a Lonely Place


The second and third episodes of Altered Carbon begin Takeshi Kovacs' (Joel Kinnaman) investigation into the murder attempt on his employer Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy). His search for suspects will lead him to an ally of convience in a former soldier (Ato Essandoh) who blames the billionaire for the death of his daughter (Hayley Law). Helping out his new friend (after he broke into his home, threatened him, and beat him up... twice), will get Kovacs in more trouble by the end of the third episode. There's also the dangling thread of the girl who fell from the sky which currently feels completely superflous, but Ortega's (Martha Higareda) involvement in hiding the body is an obvious tip that is more going on her than meets the eye. And don't miss the first appearance of the mysterious ghost walker who spied on Kovacs sleeping with Miriam Bancroft (Kristin Lehman) and seems to have a special interest in the show's protagonist.

Star Wars: Thrawn #1


The first issue of the new six-issue Star Wars mini-series from Jody Houser and artist Luke Ross fills in some of the past of the Chiss warrior Mitth'raw'nuruodo, better known as Thrawn. While it feels like a bit too much story is shoved into a single over-sized issue, fans of the character should enjoy the peak into the history of Timothy Zahn's famous creation.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Black Lightning - And Then the Devil Brought the Plague


The latest episode throws a wrench into Black Lightning's (Cress Williams) return to action as headaches and blackouts being effecting the super-hero. At first these are only cause of concern for family and friends, but before the end of the episode they will cost the hero a chance to nab a street thug tied to his own father's murder. This is the first time we've had mention of Jefferson's father, but he figures prominently in the B-story as well as Anissa's (Nafessa Williams) invesigation into super-powers ties back to her grandfather and a group of kids who went missing three decades ago. Finding the end of a string, the young woman begins pulling (and does so in her fancy new costume thanks to a spending spree at a local fetish shop), but just where will this thread lead?

Behind-the-Scenes: Barbara Palvin (Sports Illustrated)


Here's some behind-the-scenes footage of Sports Illustrated Swimsuits model Barbara Palvin's photo shoots for the magazine’s 2018 issue.

MAGFest 2018 Cosplay Video

X-Men: Red #1

Cyclops is still dead, but X-Men founding member Jean Grey (the original, not some alternate timeline version of her) is back among the living. Troubled by the divisive and hateful world she she's around her, the X-Man chooses to put together her own team with a new mission of bringing acceptance of mutantkind to the forefront of the public consciousness starting with an address at the United Nations.

Jean is certainly the star of the show, but there are some ringers amongst the group's members including Nightcrawler, Namor, and X-23 Wolverine (seriously, I have no idea what to call this character now). Like pretty much every on of the half-dozen or so X-Men team titles these days the team is packed with other superfluous characters, but it's pretty obvious which characters will drive the major plotlines.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Anime Festival Asia 2017 Cosplay Showcase

Legends of Tomorrow - Daddy Darhkest


A young girl in a psychiatric hospital possessed by the demon Mallus who mentions Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) by name brings Constantine (Matt Ryan) in search of the Legends. Things get complicated when the Legends discover the girl the Hellblazer is trying to save is Nora Darkh (Courtney Ford), Kuasa (Tracy Ifeachor) shows up to interfere, and Sara, Constantine, and Cold (Wentworth Miller) get thrown back more than 50 years into the past.

Jessica Nigri - Skyrim Cosplay with Real Wolves

Monday, February 12, 2018

Reagan Kathryn Anime Los Angeles ALA Vlog

First Look - Jessica Jones (Season Two)


We now have our first look at what's in store for the Second Season of Jessica Jones which will appear to center upon Jessica (Krysten Ritter) investigating the origins of her powers. Season Two will be released on Netflix on March 8th.

Altered Carbon - Out of the Past


Adapted from the science fiction novel of the same name by Richard K. Morgan, the new Netflix series Altered Carbon introduces us to super-solider Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman, and played in flashbacks by Byron Mann) awoken 250 years after his death in the new body paid for by a wealthy degenerate (James Purefoy) who expects his recent acquisition to solve a murder attempt on the billionaire's life. You see in the future, a body may die but the memories (housed in a "stack" at the base of the spine) can be plugged into a new "skin" allowing those with enough money to effectively live forever, as long as the stack itself is never compromised. The concept proves to be a little goofy is spots, but there's enough here (at least so far) to keep my interest.

Movie Card Trader Awesome Pack 5


For more check out Movie Pack 1, Pack 2, Pack 3, and Pack 4.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Planet Comicon 2018 Cosplay Guests


Planet Comicon is now less than a week away (early tickets are still available). You can find a full range of creative and media guests on the official site. The cosplay guest line-up looks to have been finalized and it includes Abby Dark Star, AZ Power Girl, Rosanna Rocha, and prop-maker Calen Hoffman. You can find a full list of cosplayers making the trek to Kansas City next weekend here.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Batman: Gotham by Gaslight

The latest DC animated feature adapts the first Elseworld story in which DC characters are reintroduced in other times and places. Taking several liberties with the source material, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight still takes place in Gotham of the late 19th Century where the new vigilante Batman (Bruce Greenwood) will match wits with the serial killer Jack the Ripper butchering women in the streets.

There are quite a few changes to the story in that the character revealed to be the killer in the graphic novel doesn't even appear in the film, more of Bruce Wayne's supporting cast is included, and Selina Kyle (Jennifer Carpenter), who wasn't a part of the source material, is given a major supporting role as a friend to both Bruce Wayne and the Batman. The movie goes a bit out of its way to earn it's R-rating (including an unfortunate take on Poison Ivy), but the setting and design, the mystery itself (including some nice misdirection), and fight sequences all make for a memorable (if flawed) feature.

Corporate - Corporate Retreat


The Hampton DeVille corporate retreat gets off to the kind of start fans will be expecting as the senior executives decide to simulate a plane crash on the flight in order to get the coworkers to bond a little easier over the course of the weekend. How would you follow that up? Well, for starters there's the motivational speakers (Jon Daly and Natasha Lyonne) enlightening the workers on how best o be A.H.O.L.E.S. (Alphas wHo Only Like Excellence). And of course, things end in waterboarding minimally disguised as corporate baptism.

The Librarians and the Echoes of Memory


Picking up immediately following last week's episode, the season finale opens with Eve (Rebecca Romijn) stumbling through a dreary world run by "The Company" in which the Library has never existed struggling to keep the idea of it, and Flynn (Noah Wyle), alive in her mind long enough to find the Librarians (all of whom all only remember Eve and the Library as nothing more than a hazy dream). After finding her three friends, and sparking a glimmer of memory in each, Eve is captured and locked away in a mental institution with Flynn as her memory of the Library and the real world slips away. Thankfully, she's done just enough prodding to reawaken the idea of better world for the Librarians.

Deadpool, Meet Cable trailer


The unconventional trailers for the Deadpool sequel continue. Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), meet Cable (Josh Brolin).

Koshchei the Deathless #2


In the second issue of the six-issue mini-series, Koshchei continues his tale. After making a pact with Baba Yaga, the warrior (and his few remaining soldiers the witch didn't kill) journey through a woods and beyond on their quest to kill dragons before a new generation can be born. Along the way they will meet Yeshii the woodsman, the grown human son of a cow, and a cursed man now living out his existence as a snake. They also follow a magical ball of yarn for a bit.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Black Lightning - Black Jesus


When a dangerous new drug hits the streets and his school, Black Lightning (Cress Williams) hits the streets, including looking up an old friend (Jason Louder) who it turns out is the city's major dealer. On the home front the family drama continues with Lynn (Christine Adams) hating her husband's return to the spandex lifestyle, Jennifer (China Anne McClain) reacting to Khalil's (Jordan Calloway) shooting by ignoring other responsibilities and Anissa (Nafessa Williams), inspired by the example of Black Lightning and emboldened by her new powers, decides to take justice into her own hands. The later holds the most promise, although the young woman's ability to process putting a half-dozen people in intensive care (if not killing them) certainly raises reasons for concern.

Astro City #50


I always love to see writer Kurt Busiek and artist Brent Anderson delve into the nuts-and-bolts of a world where super-heroes exist, and how such a world might effect every day folks. A sequel to the Eisner-nominated "The Nearness of You," Astro City #50 introduces us to Michael Tenicek who runs a support group for those touched by super-villain violence.

Alexis Ren Dancing on the Beach (Sports Illustrated Swimsuit)


Here's some behind-the-scenes footage of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit's Rookie of the Year Alexis Ren's photo shoots for the magazine's 2018 issue.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Flash - True Colors


The return of an old acquaintance who questions Ralph's (Devon Graye) ability to go straight has the unintended consequence of helping the Elongated Man discover a new power to alter his rubbery physique to temporarily duplicate the appearance of others. Meanwhile Barry (Grant Gustin) is locked in Warden Wolfe's (Richard Brooks) secret meta-human prison and offered up with its other inmates to Amunet Black (Katee Sackhoff) in order to be sold to the highest bidder. Queued into the scheme thanks to Cecile's (Danielle Nicolet) temporary psychic powers, and with the help of Ralph's new powers, Team Flash works on a plan to save its leader (who is working on his own escape with the help of his fellow inmates).

Jessica Jones #16


After her attempt to kill (and then beat-up) the Purple Man failed, Jessica Jones #16 picks up the story with Kilgrave in control of Carol Danvers (and the surrounding mob) and wanting very much to sit down for a conversation with his favorite human being.

Supergirl - Both Sides Now


After catching Purity (Krys Marshall), and getting a glimpse at (but not really understanding) her duality, Kara (Melissa Benoist) and Alex (Chyler Leigh) disagree on how best to interrogate the world killer. After she escapes from the DEO, leaving chaos in her wake, the pair are forced to put their debate on hold while the team heads out for an underground climax in a National City subway station. Meanwhile, Sam's (Odette Annable) day off with her daughter leads to yet another unexplained disappearance and plenty of questions for Lena (Katie McGrath) who may finally be the first to suspect what's really going on with her #1 employee.

First Look - Solo: A Star Wars Story


We now have our first look at Alden Ehrenreich starring as Han Solo in the next upcoming Star Wars Anthology film which also features Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian and Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca. Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, Emilia Clarke, and Paul Bettany also star. Solo: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters on May 25th.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Lucifer - My Brother's Keeper


A search for Ella's (Aimee Garcia) missing older brother (Rey Valentin) turns into a murder investigation when Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt) finds the sketchy businessman the brother was meeting with the night before dead in his office. Also missing with the brother are a stash of stolen diamonds which Lucifer (Tom Ellis) and Chloe (Lauren German) discover their missing diamond expert was working to illegally clean at the time of the murder. While Lucifer turns out to be wrong about the identity of the murderer, much to Ella's relief, it turns out the Devil knows a blackened soul when he sees one (although that nugget of truth he chooses to keep to himself).

MCM London Comic Con October 2017 Cosplay Music Video

Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold


Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold is an odd, but not unwelcome, merging of the two franchises. It feels neither like Scooby-Doo (Frank Welker) visiting an episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold nor Batman (Diedrich Bader) guest-starring on Scooby-Doo but instead a mashup of the two that provides plenty of fan-friendly moments and a host of winks and nods for longtime Batman fans (ranging from the Riddler's cell number to one hero's famous love of cookies).

Friday, February 2, 2018

Mystik U #2


What if Zatanna went to Hogwarts? That's the basic premise behind the mini-series where Zatanna's past is altered allowing a younger version of the character to attend a magical university known as Mystik U. The first issue set up the basic concept of Zatanna needing to change her past in order to be prepared for a dark evil in the future. To that end we've seen Zatanna meet a group of new friends and attempt to fit into the magical collegiate community.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Good Place - Somewhere Else


After convincing themselves, and the demon who was assigned to torture them, that bad people can in fact change after death our intrepid gang of misfits failed (or almost all of them failed) in their individual tests to make it to the Good Place. Enter Michael (Ted Danson) with a new suggestion for the judge (Maya Rudolph) as the Second Season takes another swerve putting Eleanor (Kristen Bell) back into her life after narrowly avoiding her unfortunate grocery-cart demise (and without the knowledge of her afterlife) to see if she can, in fact, be a good person without the certainty of a reward in heaven. Despite her initial high after her life-and-death experience, Eleanor eventually falls back into her old habits. Thankfully Michael still has just enough devil left in him to cheat and give her the proper nudge back to the right path.

The Librarians and the Trial of the One


Has the end begun? With the Library beginning to crumble due to a tethering ceremony having not taken place, Jenkins (John Larroquette) provides a temporary fix while imploring Eve (Rebecca Romijn) to choose a Librarian for the ceremony. Against Jenkins' advice, the group chooses to use the Library's oldest scroll to help determine their fate. Unfortunately for everyone involved that means all three Librarian and their Guardian are transported to the testing grounds for the "Trial of the One" where Jenkins (controlled by the spirit of the Library) orders them to each face their deepest fear and then fight to the death to determine the one true Librarian. Failure to compete will not only sacrifice Jenkins life but leave the Library untethered, and growing less interested in humanity with every passing second.

SEAL Team - Getaway Day

SEAL Team - Getaway Day television review

After a bombing takes out an entire team, Bravo team finds their time at home cut short.and is asked to deploy overseas in only 18 hours. The first two-thirds of "Getaway Day" spends most of its time showcasing the turmoil of family and friends due both to the attack and Bravo team leaving well-before they had planned. After arriving in Afghanistan, Hayes (David Boreanaz) and his men turn their attention to the terrorists responsible for the trap which killed Echo team ending on a cliffhanger heading into a four-week break. Given the entire team is now deployed overseas, rather than the separate strike missions we've seen so far, it will be interesting to see how much of the show's focus moves away from the family drama of the separate soldiers' home lives (which are often the weaker scenes of the show, but here are a strength with the characters given far more to play against than normal).

The Blacklist - The Cook


To catch a murdering priest (Michael Rogers) who hides his crimes of punishing attractive women who the troubled man believes were put on Earth by the Devil to tempt him, Reddington (James Spader) and friends enlist the help of an incarcerated former arson investigator (C. Thomas Howell) who dabbled in setting his own fires as well. As the rest of the team hunts for their arsonist, Reddington helps Elizabeth (Megan Boone) in her search for Tom's killer using the only clue they have: the false eye from Liz's recent kill.