Sunday, April 22, 2018

Arrow - The Dragon


It's rare to get an episode that doesn't center on Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), but even rarer for one in which neither he nor his hooded alter-ego make an appearance (I'm not counting his cameo in the episode's epilogue). Instead "Dragon" centers around Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) and his quest to join a coalition of mafia families known as The Quadrant. Jerked around by the son (Ashton Holmes) of one of the organization's four leaders, Diaz is forced to prove himself worthy of a meeting with the group. Despite holding up his end of the bargain in locating a Quardrant member in FBI custody, Diaz is betrayed. Diaz doesn't like to be betrayed. I mean he really, really doesn't like it.

Friday, April 20, 2018

LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: The Flash

The latest of the LEGO DC Super-Hero straight-to-video movies, LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: The Flash features the first appearance of the Reverse-Flash (Dwight Schultz) who tricks the Flash (James Arnold Taylor) into a time loop which allows the villain to damage his relationships with the rest of the Justice League and eventually steal the hero's powers. After destroying the Flash's good name, and then using his speed to beat the Justice League to all crimes, the Reverse-Flash makes a name for himself as the world's greatest hero. Meanwhile, with a bit of help from Doctor Fate (Kevin Michael Richardson) and Zatanna (Kate Micucci), the Flash will work to earn back his speed not realizing that he's playing straight into the villain's hands.

The story of the Flash learning to slow down long enough to take stock of his surroundings and come up with a plan is hammered home without much subtlety, but there's still quite a bit of fun to be had.

Action Comics #1000


The oldest comic around sets an unprecedented milestone with its 1,000th issue. Action Comics #1000 features a collection of variant covers of Superman over the years to go with a collection of stories from various writers and artists.

Legion - Chapter 11


Waking up from another encounter with the Shadow King (Navid Negahban), David (Dan Stevens) discovers nearly everyone in Division 3 has been infected by the teeth-chattering disease. A dip into Ptonomy's (Jeremie Harris) mind reveals each person is trapped within a maze of their own making. For Ptonomy that reality is a garden without future or past. For Melanie (Jean Smart) it's a text-based game. For Syd (Rachel Keller) that means being trapped in a loop of her own life (apparently, more on that next week). Oh, there's also a cow randomly appearing around Division 3 for some reason.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Super Troopers 2

2001's Super Troopers may not have broken the box office, but the comedy featuring the Broken Lizard comedy group had definite charm and has earned itself solid cult status over the years. Not nearly as much fun as the original, with a plot more convoluted than necessary, there are still laughs to be had for a film that struggles fighting off sequelitis.

17 years in the making (including relying on crowd funding to help raise money for the film), Super Troopers 2 brings back all the familiar faces of the former Vermont Highway Patrol. Having lost their jobs as state police since the last movie in an often-referenced tragedy involving Fred Savage (which sadly doesn't offer nearly the payoff one would expect), the group is given a second chance when the Canadian border is redrawn around a single town and the U.S. needs a trained police force to step in.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Flash - Lose Yourself


Playing close to form, "Lose Yourself" features a heartbreaking defeat for Team Flash. Not only does the super-villain out-think the team and take down the last remaining bus meta, but DeVoe also cuts even closer to home when he takes Ralph (Hartley Sawyer) as well. Barry's (Grant Gustin) failure is complete. Every single one of the bus metahumans created by his return from the Speed Force has been killed off by the super-villain who now controls all of their abilities. And it doesn't appear that he's done just yet.

Lucifer - The Angel of San Bernardino


Maze's (Lesley-Ann Brandt) dark turn continues this week as she helps Pierce (Tom Welling) gaslight Lucifer (Tom Ellis) by turning the devil's attention away from the immortal moving in on his girl while distracting him with the idea that his father may be controlling him in his sleep. Refusing to go back to sleep, Lucifer's behavior only becomes more erratic while Chloe (Lauren German) comes awfully close to giving Pierce exactly what he wants. The cruelty by Maze is chilling while an out-of-control, and therefore unbelievable, Lucifer attempts to unsuccessfully spill the beans to the detective about who exactly she is sharing her bed with.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Supergirl - Schott Through the Heart


After more than two months hiatus, Supergirl returns with karaoke, flying monkeys, and a death in the family. The night of drunken karaoke is cut short with news that Winn's (Jeremy Jordan) father the Toyman has died in prison. Despite his death, the Toyman continues to torture his son and the city from beyond the grave in the form of an apprentice who arrives on the scene to fulfill the super-villain's final wishes (which includes an aerial attack from robotic flying monkeys). The funeral offers the show an opportunity to introduce Laurie Metcalf as the mother who ran from her crazy husband and abandoned Winn as a child 20 years ago.

Voltron - Blood Duel / Postmortem


"Blood Duel" and "Postmortem" mark a shift in the series with the death of Zarkon (Neil Kaplan) at the hands of Lotor (A.J. LoCascio) with the help of the Paladins of Voltron. The first episode shows some cracks in the team over discussions of trusting Lotor versus turning him over to Zarkon in exchange for the captive Samuel Holt (Nolan North) before the team uses some deception of their own and rallies together to rescue Pidge's (Bex Taylor-Klaus) father leaving Lotor one-on-one with his father. Although you don't expect the major villain to be wiped out mid-season, h choice does open new possibilities for the series.

Wondercon 2018 Cosplay Music Video (Part 6)

Monday, April 16, 2018

Darth Vader #14


Following the death of an Imperial Envoy on Mon Cala, Governor Tarkin's forces under the command of Darth Vader have invaded the planet and laid siege to above-ground cities. When diplomacy fails to halt the invading Imperial forces, the king decides to go to extreme measures and destroy every single surface city on the planet rather than allow them to be taken by the Empire and used as staging areas against the rest of the planet deep below the ocean's surface.

Lost in Space - Impact


The cheesy 60s sci-fi drama gets a gritty reboot on Netflix beginning with "Impact" which introduces us to the new version of the Robinson clan who crash land on an un-mapped planet in the show's opening episode. Using flashbacks (which, even only one episode in, I'm tempted already to start fast-forwarding through), the episode fills in a bit about the Robinsons and the cataclysmic event on Earth that sent families like them to the stars in hopes of finding a new home. We discover that Maureen (Molly Parker) and John (Toby Stephens) are far from the happiest of couples and their children are clever beyond their years but also have a habit for getting themselves in trouble.

Super-Heroes Card Trader - Team-Up Awesome Pack


For more super-heroes check out Super-Hero Pack 1, Pack 2, Pack 3, Pack 4, Pack 5, Pack 6, Pack 7, Wonder Woman Pack 1, Black Cat Pack 1, Lara Croft Pack 1, Pack 2, Pack 3, Spidey Pack 1, Pack 2, Harley Quinn Pack 1, Pack 2, Pack 3, Pack 4, Pack 5, Birds of Prey Pack 1, Memorial Day Pack 1, X-Men Pack 1, and the X-Mas Mega Pack 1 and Mega Pack 2.

Friday, April 13, 2018

SEAL Team - Credible Threat


Bravo Team is assigned to protect a delegation of government officials on a publicity tour to give the illusion to the folks back home that the area is more stabilized than it actually is. The detail is complicated as the members insist on taking unnecessary risks, making it more and more difficult for the SEALs to perform their duties, and the fact that suspected terrorist Salim Hakan (Ismail Bashey) has been added to the group without notifying Bravo beforehand. Bravo and the United States officials all manage to get out alive, although Hakan is killed by a sniper shooting at the group. At first the assumption is that he was an unfortunate casualty caught in the crossfire, although Mandy Ellis (Jessica Paré) raises the possibility that perhaps the sniper got exactly who he was shooting at and eliminated someone the CIA had targeted before Hakan could reveal what he knew.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #21


A large chunk of Red Hood and the Outlaws #21 centers on the ramifications of Artemis finding Bizarro's secret lab with synthetic Kryptonite. Forced into a corner, the Superman clone is forced to confess on his addiction to the substance Lex Luthor used to save his life and which Bizarro has become dependent on in order to keep his enhanced intellect and not regress back into the simple creature he once was. While the pair eventually come to and understanding, it looks like Bizarro's lies to his friends isn't over quite yet.

Legion - Chapter 10


David (Dan Stevens) is conflicted as the search for the Shadow King continues. Betrayed once in this episode by Farouk, who killed several agents when David lured the team away from Division 3 on a wild goose chase, David reaches back out to future Syd (Rachel Keller) in hopes of understanding why she needs him to help their enemy. Refusing to go into details, Syd hints at something far more dangerous which they will need the Shadow King's help to face. She also remarks multiple times on how much David has changed. Is it just me, or does this sound like David is the greater threat threat that will need to be stopped?

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Domino #1

The first issue sends Domino and her partners Outlaw and Diamondback into timber country on a job to stop the Russian mob from muscling in on a logging operation. When the attempted hostage rescue of missing loggers turns out to be a set-up by Topaz, shit hits the fan (but doesn't get crazy enough to miss Domino's birthday party later that night). Surviving the party with her dignity won't be the only challenge when our villain arrives to finish the job. Has our heroine's luck already run out? (As this is the first issue, I'm going to say no.)

The Flash - Null and Annoyed


Without a reason for the change, Ralph (Devon Graye) backpedals into the and even more jokey and less reliable friend first introduced this season as he and Barry (Grant Gustin) search for another of the bus meta-humans. Of course, Barry falling back into jerk mode doesn't help the situation any. Giving herself the name Null (Bethany Brown), the new meta has the ability to alter gravitational forces on people and things making them temporarily weightless (before plummeting back to Earth with a big bang). "Null and Annoyed" is pretty forgettable, as it feels like the show is treading water leading up the the inevitable confrontation with DeVoe.

Reagan Kathryn's C2E2 2018 Vlog

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Rampage

Rampage is big dumb fun, but it's a little light on the fun. Based on a simplistic 32 year-old arcade game and its various sequels concerning giant monsters toppling buildings, the film centers on Dwayne "It's Okay to Call Me The Rock Again" Johnson and his ape friend George who is one of a small group of creatures enlarged and driven violent by gas from a secret orbital laboratory run by a pair of douchey CEOs (Malin Akerman and Jake Lacy, neither of whom appear competent enough to run a taco stand let alone a multi-billion dollar company). There's also a scientist (Naomie Harris) and a government agent (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) who figure into the long and drawn-out set-up before the film finally offers us monsters destroying a city.

Director Brad Peyton's largest asset is The Rock who makes the film watchable, if not always enjoyable. The best scenes are between The Rock and his ape pal George (even if the humor is pretty lowbrow). As for the rest of the film, it's comparable enough to any throwaway monster flick from the 1950s with plenty of plotholes and monsters that are somewhat interesting but aren't necessarily all that scary.

Truth or Dare

Director Jeff Wadlow's Blumhouse's Truth or Dare is pretty standard stuff as a group of college kids get in over their heads in a bizarre situation that threatens all of their lives. While on their final spring break of college in Mexico, a stranger (Landon Liboiron) invites Olivia (Lucy Hale), Markie (Violett Beane), Lucas (Tyler Posey), Penelope (Sophia Ali), Tyson (Nolan Gerard Funk), Brad (Hayden Szeto), and Ronnie (Sam Lerner) to a cursed mission where he entices them into a game of truth or dare that gets deadly serious.

Even after returning to college days later, the students find themselves still stuck in a game that forces them to tell secret truths to and about each other or perform increasingly dangerous dares. Failure or refusal of a turn isn't an option as death claims the player.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Legends of Tomorrow - The Good, The Bad and The Cuddly


Cowboys, Legends, and a giant plushie versus Romans, pirates, demons, and vikings. It must be the season finale. After failing to stop Mallus, the Legends turn tail and run to the Old West hoping to buy enough time to learn how to use the totems together to form Voltron in a Care Bare stare - Nate's (Nick Zano) description of Sara's (Caity Lotz) plan, not mine. Things are complicated by the arrival of vikings, pirates, and Romans all under Mallus' control, the death of Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill), and Ray's (Brandon Routh) unapproved mission which saves Nora (Courtney Ford) but only because Damien (Neal McDonough) decides to take his daughter's place as Mallus' vessel. So, you know, an average Monday for the crew of the Waverider.

Astro City #51


Astro City #51 continues the theme started in Astro City #50 as we hear from more survivors of those touched by the supernatural telling their stories the in support group led by Michael Tenicek. We get the terrifying tale of Rose Wilkerson who was saved from a giant spider-creature by the Honor Guard (unfortunately her son was not so lucky). It's a heart-wrenching opening, but from there the comic takes an even darker turn as the grieving mother turns her anger on Michael who (because his wife was taken out of existence) she thinks is a fraud. How to you prove something that, according to the current timeline, never existed?

Monday, April 9, 2018

A Series of Unfortunate Events - The Austere Academy


The Second Season of A Series of Unfortunate Events opens with Violet (Malina Weissman), Klaus (Louis Hynes), and baby Sunny at Prufrock Preparatory School. Here they find both old and new kinds of trouble. Forced to live in a orphan shack and attend classes teaching worthless information, the Baudelaires will continue to search in vain for information about their parents and the unusual circumstances they have found themselves in. They will have to deal with the return of Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris), who disguises himself as the school's new gym teacher and attempts to get the threesome thrown out of the school.

Legion - Chapter 9


The Second Season of Legion pics up nearly a year after the First Season finale with the recovery of David (Dan Stevens) who has no memory of where he's been since his abduction (other than dancing with the Shadow King in a club at some point in time). In his absence, his friends have joined Division 3 (to work for a man with a basket on his head) and have continued to search for the missing Shadow King, now in the body of the missing Oliver (Jemaine Clement), who is searching the world for his real body which would allow him to fully manifest once more. As David is questioned by various people at Division 3, most who question his amnesia, he also begins to reconnect with Syd (Rachel Keller) and try to piece together just what happened to him during his missing year.

Anime Matsuri 2018 (Houston Anime Cosplay Scene Part 2)

Friday, April 6, 2018

The Top Ten Women of Star Wars


Star Wars fans can check out my new top ten here.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Shadowhunters - What Lies Beneath


The season's new villain Lilith (Anna Hopkins) isn't given much screentime in "What Lies Beneath," but the search for her disciple the Owl (who one Shadowhunter mistakenly believes is Jonathan) takes up much of the episode. While Clary (Katherine McNamara), Isabelle (Emeraude Toubia), and an obsessed Jace (Dominic Sherwood) search for the Owl who has been killing mundanes in large numbers, Raphael (David Castro) mourns a loss, Alec (Matthew Daddario) throws a dinner party for his mother, and Simon's (Alberto Rosende) new powers continue to grow causing new problems with the Pack and other vampires.

Legion - The Complete First Season

Dan Stevens stars as mutant and former mental patient David Haller. Over the course of the season's eight episodes we'll see David leave the institution, be pursued by one mysterious group and be recruited by another all while questioning his own sanity. Adapted by show creator Noah Hawley, the highly-stylized show takes the X-Men character in unusual directions for a super-hero TV-show.

Highlights of the short First Season include the malevolent identity within him (played by Aubrey Plaza) taking action against his new friends, David questioning the premise that he isn't crazy, David getting lost in his own mind, and David's battle against the Shadow King.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Legends of Tomorrow - Guest Starring John Noble


From a story perspective "Guest Starring John Noble" is a mess. The episode sees Damian Darhk (Neal McDonough) betray Nora (Courtney Ford) and the Legends both in attempts to belatedly save his possessed daughter from Mallus. Nate (Nick Zano) and Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale), and eventually all the other Legends, help Amaya (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) help change the timeline in an attempt to both save her village and draw Mallus out into the open. As with most of their plans, things don't go well. The episode doesn't really deal with Ava's (Jes Macallan) recent discovery and Sara's (Caity Lotz) choice to hand over the Death Totem to her greatest enemy ranks up there as one of the worst ideas ever made on the Waverider.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe #20


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe #20 features Raphael and Alopex working together to free animals at Null Industries before they can be mutated. There's plenty of action here as the pair square of against the murderous Zodi and the equally scary (but apparently far less-murderous) Krisa who Alopex is able to reason with long enough for our heroes to successfully finish their mission.

Anime Matsuri 2018 (Houston Anime Cosplay Scene Part 1)

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Jessica Jones - AKA The Octopus


"AKA The Octopus" begins to tie the season's various themes and threads together. We start off with Jessica (Krysten Ritter) in jail for a crime that she obviously didn't commit (given how insanely Trish was driving that night how many street cams do you think clocked them both on the other side of the city?) which forces her to make a new friend on the police department. As for Trish (Rachael Taylor), her firs foray into Simpson's drugs don't actually help in the investigation but they go give the former addict a dangerous taste of the power she has sought all her life. And for Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss), the dead weight of her illness finally begins to serve the larger storyline when Jess delivers a woman who once worked at IGH, and knows all about the death-defying experiments, directly to her door.

Jessica Jones #18


The aptly-titled "The Big Goodbye" isn't only writer Brian Michael Bendis' final comic on the character created but it's also one of the last comics of Bendis' run at Marvel before moving to DC. The set-up gives us a Jessica a bit more in control than usual, while the world around her is still quite crazy. Hired by the girlfriend of the Armadillo (a D-list Marvel character if there ever was one) to find the unfortunate sod who has being picking fights with all the wrong super-hero types and convince him to come home leads Jessica to conversations with various heroes including Spider-Man, the other Spider-Man, the Thing, and Ironheart.

Wondercon 2018 Cosplay Music Video (Part 4)

Monday, April 2, 2018

Arrow - The Thanatos Guild


An offshoot of the League of Assassins created by Malcolm Merlyn before his death arrive in town for Thea (Willa Holland) and a map her father left behind. The Thanatos Guild believes Thea is the key to unlocking a great prize Merlyn discovered shortly before his death. The arrival of Nyssa (Katrina Law), another former daughter of the demon who understands Thea's desire to distance herself from that life, helps persuade Thea to fight rather than run, but uncovering just what the Guild is after will change Thea's destiny. The episode's B-story feels mainly like filler as Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) and Curtis (Echo Kellum) investigate corruption in the police department.

AnimeJapan 2018 Cosplay Showcase