Sunday, March 31, 2013

Nikita - Inevitability

After the CIA installs the wrong man as the President of Chad (Jonathan Adams), Division is tasked with assassinating an out of control asset who plans to sell a list of the names of every overseas operative working in the oil industry to the Russians. When both Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca) and Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford) refuse to take part Nikita (Maggie Q) and a conflicted Owen (Devon Sawa), with Sean (Dillon Casey) as back-up, go in alone to assassinate the world leader and make it appear as if he died of a heart attack as Michael (Shane West) and Ryan (Noah Bean) try to keep the rest of Division from finding out about the mission.

Batman Incorporated #9

As Batman, Alfred, Nightwing, and Red Robin lay Damian Wayne to rest Grant Morrison's craptastic Leviathan storyline continues. Talia, her overgrown clone of a son, and the Leviathan troops are in control of Wayne Enterprises and issue demands for Batman to be banned from Gotham City and all of Batman Incorporated's operations around the world to cease immediately.

Sure I could sit here and rip apart Grant Morrission's "plot," such as how Leviathan could ever make good on their threats, or the near-impossibility of removing all likenesses of Batman from a city in eight hours. Or I could simply point out the writer's usual brand of mumbo-jumbo that the writer uses in place of actual plot.

Or I might mention how ridiculous the events covered in this storyline appear when (aside from Damian's death) are completely being ignored in EVERY OTHER BATBOOK. You'd think Gotham under siege of a terrorist organization run by Batman's former lover might be something that would effect other Batman-related comics.

The Wolverine trailer

Based on the 1982 mini-series, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) travels to Japan where he encounters friends and enemies from his past and an offer of mortality. Hiroyuki SanadaTao OkamotoRila FukushimaHal YamanouchiBrian Tee, Svetlana KhodchenkovaFamke Janssen, and Will Yun Lee (as the Silver Samurai) also star. The Wolverine opens in theaters on July 26th.

XIII - Phoenix

After being betrayed by Jones (Aisha Tyler) and loosing the weapon he fought so hard to obtain, XIII (Stuart Townsend) goes into hiding in the show's Season Two premiere. After being shot and left for dead on the bridge XIII lays low, hiding out  in a peaceful Occupy-style rally, but when the members are brutally assaulted by the local police force XIII intercedes to save one of the protesters, Betty Barnowsky (Roxane Mesquida) who introduces her protector to the head of the protesters known as The Veil, a man named Vargas (Bruce Ramsay) in need of someone with XIII's skill set to take down a company known as Synequanon who is testing an ecological damaging weapon in Alaska.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Scandal - Snake in the Garden

When his daughter (Andrea Bowen) is kidnapped and held for ransom Hollis Doyle (Gregg Henry) and his wife (Melinda McGraw) turn to Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) to get her back which is complicated by Hollis' belief that the entire kidnapping was his daughter's idea (even after a severed ear is delivered to the office). Olivia also has the unexpected pleasure of the unannounced arrival of the head of the CIA (Kurt Fuller) on her doorsteps inquiring as to who hired Olivia Pope & Associates to have Quinn (Katie Lowes) and Huck (Guillermo Díaz) tail him around Washington D.C. As if that's not enough for the team to juggle, David (Joshua Malina) begins sleeping in the firm's offices after his apartment was ransacked.

Shay Mitchell is a Stand Out for Teen Vogue

Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell is the April cover girl for Teen Vogue. In her interview with the magazine Mitchell discusses what an honor it is for her to play one of the few young lesbian characters on television, how her sense of style is drastically different from the character she plays on TV, working with the Somaly Mam Foundation, leaving Canada after high school to work as a model in Bangkok and Hong Kong, the support of her fans, and learning to embrace her uniqueness. You can find photos from the cover shoot as well as a short video inside.

A+X #6

Poker is the name of the game in this latest issue of A+X. We’re given two stories, each involving an Avenger and X-Man sitting down for a friendly game of cards.

The first story features Wolverine and Captain Marvel and is primarily of interest for the side conversation (inspired by Joss Whedon‘s Angel TV-series) concerning who would win in a fight between astronauts and cavemen. The fight, intermixed with other topics between the two, goes on through the entire story and doesn’t even stop when a super-villain bursts through the wall looking for a fight. My only real complaint with this first story is the art from Italian artists Giuseppe Camuncoli and Michele Benevento which is passable, but not great.

The second story, although not nearly as entertaining, also features two heroes winding up at a poker game as the Yancy Street friends of Ben Grimm invite Gambit, over for the weekly poker game. There's some okay back-and-forth between the characters and late twist, but it's the less interesting of the two stories. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

Fables #127

With Bigby and Stinky still off on their dimensional road trip, Fables #127 continues the bizarre situation involving Prince Brandish's return and his kidnapping and sequestering of Snow White who, under Fable law, is his wife. As Snow's friends are kept at bay by the intricate magical protections which transfer any harm done to him to his wife, Snow tries futilely to escape.

Although Snow White's predicament isn't really humorous, the sheer nature of it allows for some offbeat jokes (including Snow White doing potty humor?). By the issue's end Bigby, being finally made aware of what has been transpiring in his absence, returns home to save Snow White and put things right.

Sadly, once again Snow White is cast as the victim of the piece at the complete mercy of the man who wishes to bend her to his will. Not only does the spell cause Snow to give herself a nasty gash on her cheek, but Brandish goes so far as to break his wife's arm to teach the woman her place. Yeesh.

Friday, March 29, 2013

G.I. JOE: Special Missions #1

With G.I. JOE going public in IDW's recent relaunch of the main title, there's still plenty of quieter jobs for a covert force to do around the globe. Written by Chuck Dixon, G.I. JOE: Special Missions focuses on Scarlett and her team dropped into the middle of the action in southern Libya while around the globe an old enemy is making plans of her own.

Discovering the location of Cobra's sunken $40 billion treasure (the one Snake Eyes scuttled while working with the Arashikage) Cobra's former lieutenant has gone into the salvage business. To retrieve the gold she'll need the help of some capable sailors (the ones she doesn't cripple in a bar fight), and to stay one step ahead of Serpentor's Coil soldiers (who have been dispatched to kill the traitor) as well as Scarlett's team who heads after the treasure as well after an unorthodox extraction by Wild Bill.

Psych - 100 Clues

For the show's 100th episode, Psych reunites several members of the cast of Clue in a whodunit that goes back to Shawn (James Roday) and Gus' (Dulé Hill) third case with the Santa Barbara Police involving aging rock star Billy Lips (Steve Valentine) convicted of manslaughter. A little more than five years later, Shawn is invited to a super-secret party at a Santa Barbara mansion originally owned by a famous chocolatier. With Juliet (Maggie Lawson) unable to attend, Shawn and Gus are greeted by the mysterious benefactor's butler (Garrett Morris) who offers no clues at his employer's identity.

On the Road

Adapted from Jack Kerouac's semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, On the Road follows the misadventures of young writer Sal Paradise (Sam Riley) who takes up with the charismatic Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund) for a hedonistic journey across the country that involves sex, drugs, the defining music and philosophy of the Beat Generation, and both Dean's girlfriend Marylou (Kristen Stewart) and wife Camille (Kirsten Dunst).

Francis Ford Coppola purchased the movie rights in 1979, but spent decades unable to get the meandering period piece centered around a group of self-important characters off the ground. In late 2010 his patience was rewarded by director Walter Salles and screenwriter Jose Rivera who were finally able to bring the project to fruition.

On the Road is, at best, a mixed success. The relationship between Riley and Hedlund succeeds while Salles sprinkles in solid small supporting performances from recognizable actors such as Viggo MortensenAmy Adams, and Alice Braga.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Arrow - Salvation

Oliver's (Stephen Amell) attempt to take down a local slum lord (Duncan Ollerenshaw) on his father's list is thwarted by the arrival of a new vigilante known as The Savior (Christopher Redman). Inspired by Green Arrow, The Savior begins kidnapping and murdering people he believes have wronged the slums of Starling City known as the Glades who include Ollie's slum lord and the city's Assistant District Attorney (Peter Benson) and then broadcasts his deadly form of justice over the Internet. With Felicity's (Emily Bett Rickards) help Oliver attempts to trace The Savior's transmissions back to the source, but their killer is always one step ahead of the emerald archer.

G.I. JOE: Retaliation

Four years after the train wreck that was G.I. JOE: The Rise of Cobra, the sequel finally makes it to theaters after converting the movie to 3D and shooting additional scenes to cash-in on Channing Tatum's increased celebrity. G.I. JOE: Retaliation doesn't prove to be worth the wait, but it's certainly far better than the original.

For those of you unlucky enough to have witnessed the first film, you know that the terrorist organization known as Cobra had risen. Even if they had been defeated by the American special anti-terrorism force known as G.I. JOE, one of Cobra's own, the master of disguise known as Zartan (Arnold Vosloo), had taken the place of the President of the United States (Jonathan Pryce).

G.I. JOE: Retaliation picks up some months later with President Zartan orchestrating the public disgrace and destruction of the JOEs while Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) and Firefly (Ray Stevenson) break Cobra Commander (now played by Luke Bracey) out of futuristic prison in an overly-elaborate plan.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hawaii Five-0 - Hoa Pili

Five-0 looks into vandalism, arson, and a series of death threats sent to a company whose shark tours are endangering the local shark population. After the third boat of the tour's fleet is burned three miles offshore, McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) and Danny (Scott Caan) head out in search of the boat's sunken shark cage still holding the body of the owner's brother. Five-0 searches for the murderer who they are pretty sure the victim managed to wound with a bang stick (an underwater buckshot shotgun used against sharks) as well as investigating the local Kapu surfer gang who attacked the victim a week before his death when the tour began encroaching on their territory and pushing the sharks further inland.

Daredevil #24

Although the latest issue of Daredevil gives us the barest glimpse of the villain behind all of Daredevil's current troubles, it continues to hide the character's true identity or the endgame he has in mind for everyone's favorite blind lawyer vigilante.

Daredevil #24 focuses more on Matt Murdock than his pointy-eared alter-ego (although Daredevil swinging around town does provide one of the funniest moments) as Murdock sits helplessly by the hospital bedside of Foggy Nelson offer what support he can, getting a little help from Hank Pym, and finally having "the talk" with Kristen McDuffie over the current state of their post-break-up relationship (even if he'd rather fight Electro). Much like Matt, I really hope this isn't the last we see of Miss McDuffie.

The only real action we get is a gift basket sent to Nelson & Murdock by Daredevil's unseen enemy containing blind hyper-sensitive dogs who nearly destroy the entire office. It's a fun, though certainly not action-packed, issue which fans of the character should enjoy. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $2.99]

Every Woody Allen Stammer From Every Woody Allen Movie

The Huffington Post shares Every Woody Allen Stammer From Every Woody Allen Movie.

Bones - The Blood from the Stones

Working around a documentary crew focusing on Bones (Emily Deschanel) and the team's work for the Jeffersonian, the team investigates the murder of an undercover cop whose body decomposed in two different micro-climates after being shot twice in the chest (where the team also finds a bag of diamonds the victim swallowed before his death). Unbeknownst to Bones, the Jeffersonian asks Edison (Eugene Byrd) to take part in the documentary, whose sole purpose is to raise money for the institute, in order to "temper Dr. Brennan's unusual abrasive manner."

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Castle - The Wild Rover

Beckett (Stana Katic) and Castle's (Nathan Fillion) latest investigation of the murder of a man shot and left in an industrial cake mixer leads them to the shot caller of the Irish mob. While bringing in a bar owner named  Siobhan (Cara Buono) with ties to the family for questioning the team accidentally blows Ryan's (Seamus Dever) eight year-old undercover identity when the woman kisses him, and then slaps him, in front of his wife (Juliana Dever) and coworkers. A visit from Special Agent Sam Walker (Benito Martinez) gives them a motive for the killing when he reveals the victim was his confidential informant who was helping the FBI get their hand's on the mob's bible (a list of payoffs and transactions which could take down the whole crew).

G.I. JOE #2

Cobra has sprung it's trap. The JOE team is divided and Duke has been captured by the Baroness and Dr. Mindbender as Cobra troops and the locals of Warrenton, Ohio, hunt down the wounded JOEs.

Roadblock, Quick Kick, and Tunnel Rat manage to keep the wounded Shipwreck safe from further harm as Cover Girl and a wounded Doc must deal with not only with the individuals hunting them but naivete of Hashtag who gives up their location to the enemy.

The action heats up in this second issue, and Cover Girl gets some nice kick-ass and wise-cracking moments, as the fractured team find themselves in enemy territory in the middle of the United States thanks to Cobra buying the cooperation of the struggling town's locals.

Cut-off from the outside world, we'll have to see how long the JOEs can keep fighting and how long Duke can hold out before succumming to Dr. Mindbender's mind control. Once that happens, he'll agree to do whatever the Baroness commands. Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

Pretty sweet Guardians of the Galaxy cosplay

[American Comicon via Calvin's Canadian Cave of Coolness]

House of Lies - Exit Strategy

While trying not to let his brother (Larenz Tate) getting Roscoe (Donis Leonard Jr.) involved in his latest cause get on his nerves, Marty (Don Cheadle) continues to work behind the scenes to procure the funding and clients he needs to get his new agency off the ground. Meanwhile Jeannie (Kristen Bell) is blindsided by Julianne Hotschragar's (Bess Armstrong) offer to promote her and put her in charge of her own Pod.

Ripper Street - Series One

Set in Whitechapel during the late 19th Century, only months after the last of the Jack the Ripper killings, Ripper Street stars Matthew Mcfayden as Detective Inspector Edmund Reid of Whitechapel H Division. After failing to catch Jack, and fearing his eventual return, H Division is responsible for 1.25 square miles of East London filled mostly the poor and homeless.

Assisting Reid in his work are the tough as nails Detective Sergeant Bennett Drake (Jerome Flynn) and surgeon and former Pinkerton Agent Captain Horner Jackson (Adam Rothenberg) who makes his home in a local brothel and whose past is shrouded in dark secrets.

Subplots of the first season include Jackson and house madam Long Susan (MyAnna Buring) fearing their past will catch up with them, Reid's estranged relationship with his wife (Amanda Hale), various trouble inside the brothel, and Drake falling in love with one of Long Susan's whores (Charlene McKenna).

Monday, March 25, 2013

Look! It's Red Batman!

The Mentalist - Behind the Red Curtain

The CBI investigates the mysterious death of the leading actress in a local theater who was pushed to her death on opening night. Lisbon (Robin Tunney) talks with the victim's Foster parent (Maggie Egan) who points the CBI in the direction of the girl's violent ex-boyfriend (Derek Ray) who she believes may have assaulted her a week before the murder. The returning Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) puts the man at the gala on the night the victim was killed, but the boyfriend paints a far different story when he informs them he attended the party only to protect his girl from one of other cast members she believed was out to get her.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #18

After last month's cliffhanger, Jason Todd struggles through a dream state after putting on the Red Hood mash which the the Joker lined with acid as his final joke on the Bat-Family.

It's an odd issue with Alfred and Bruce Wayne at Jason's bedside, whose conscious of them but trapped in a nightmare concerning his past mistakes, the Joker, and Ducra the former head of the All Caste who comes with a message concerning Jason's failure to move on from the horrors of his past and a warning about what may happen to those he loves if he continues on his current path.

We're told there will be no lasting physical damage from the Joker's trap and it seems Todd's mental state isn't impaired either, so the entire episode feels a little pointless unless the goal is to use this experience to transform the Red Hood from anti-hero to hero and bring Jason back into the Bat-Family. One further note, Red Hood and the Outlaws #18 also brings Jason and Bruce a little closer (possibly foreshadowing his return as Robin?). For fans.

[DC, $2.99]

Nova #2

The first issue might have been a little too much set-up, but Nova #2 is a hell of a lot of fun. Sam Alexander wakes up in the hospital to find the fictional characters from his father's bedtime stories, Rocket Racoon and Gamora, standing at his bedside. Like any rational teenage hit with a crazy ass situation, Sam freaks the hell out (especially after the "talking raccoon" tries to shoot him).

Later that night, after initially deciding to get rid of it, Sam puts on the Nova Corps helmet keyed to his father's DNA, becomes the new Nova, and watches the final message from his father. The rest of the comic features Sam processing all that has happened over the past few days and experimenting with his new powers before crash landing on the moon at the feet of a Watcher.

Once again Ed McGuinness delivers some great art (although I like my Rocket Raccoon a little more cute and less feral) with so much of the heavy lifting done last issue Jeph Loeb writes a much tighter story with some great humor.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Awesome Characters - Martha Jones

"I spent a lot of time with you thinking I was second best, but you know what? I am good."

There are characters we fall in love with. The perfect mix of actor and writer that breathes magic onto the screen or inside the television.

Martha Jones was better than good. She was the best. Dr. Martha Jones met The Doctor when her hospital was transported to the moon by the Judoon in search of a missing prisoner. Not only did she save The Doctor's life, but Martha Jones would go on to save the Earth and defeat the Master without The Doctor's help. Think Donna Noble or Amy Pond could have accomplished that?

Unlike The Doctor's other companions since Doctor Who's relaunch in 2005, Martha brought an unique skill set to the party. She wasn't a temp or shop girl. She was a fully capable medical student who was made stronger by her travels with the Doctor.

Justice League #18

With the "Throne of Atlantis" storyline complete the Justice League puts together a recruiting drive aboard the Watchtower to expand their ranks. Although the group invites a dozen or so heroes including Old DCU JLA standouts Black Canary, Vixen, Firestorm, and Zatanna, along with Nightwing, Black Lightning, Blue Devil, Element Woman and others, only three make the final cut (and not really the ones I'd have chosen).

The gathering is interrupted by Platinum, the new android by Dr. Magnus (who in the Old DCU created the Metal Men) who runs amok and begins tossing heroes around the space station. Despite the main Leaguers being present, it's two relative newcomers in Firestorm and a female Atom (who certainly isn't Ray Palmer or Ryan Choi) who save the day.

The back-up story continues Billy Batson acting like a spineless prick and his continued unwillingness to be a hero despite the power granted to him and Black Adam's rampage and gathering of the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man to his side to unleash his evil on the wizard and his new champion. Hit-and-Miss.

[DC, $3.99]

Scandal - Top of the Hour

Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) & Associates are hired by Cyrus (Jeff Perry) when news of a 15 year-old affair concerning the a former student (Lisa Edelstein) of the President's (Tony Goldwyn) choice of a Supreme Court nominee is leaked to the press during the vetting process. However, Cyrus explodes when Olivia chooses to protect the woman and her family who are being crushed under the 24-hour media storm rather than the President's nominee.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Justice League of America #2

There's certainly some improvement here over the atrociously bad first issue. As Green Arrow fights for his life in the medical bay the rest of the team comes together to fight the mysterious threat of the Secret Society of Super-Villains even though, as Steve Trevor points out to Amanda Waller, the team has never worked together, has almost no intel on the threat, and will probably get their asses kicked.

Aside from Waller's irrational expectations, the second issue of the new Justice League of America has a few other problems as well. The opening shot of the Scarecrow's recruitment runs far too long while at the same time being unnecessarily obscure. It's also unclear why, despite his injuries, why Green Arrow isn't offered a spot on this team (after risking his life for them).

Issue #2 does have some fun moments, my favorite being the sequence involving Vibe meeting Hawkman for the first time. Although it's pretty forced, I also liked the idea of setting up a relationship between Trevor and Catwoman. Hit-and-Miss.

[DC, $2.99]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #20

The Teenage Mutant Turtles' adventure in Dimension X comes to a close as Leonardo and Michelangelo take on General Krang to save the King and Queen as Raphael fights alongside the Neurtrino rebels in this action-packed issue.

The fight between Krang and Leo and Mikey is the real standout, although there's plenty of action for Raphael (who even gets to shoot an alien bazooka). We also get an interesting discussion between Donatello and Professor Honeycutt about the method of transport to and from Dimension X and how that ties into Splinter's belief about his family's reincarnation as they work on finishing the Neutrinos secret weapon.

Although Honeycutt eventually hands himself over to Krang who makes his escape, the Turtles are able to save the King and Queen and make it home safely where Karai has been getting into some mischief of her own on Burnow Island involving some stolen mutigen (perhaps foreshadowing the introduction Rocksteady and Bebop). Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

Community - Economics of Marine Biology

Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) enlists the help of the Study Group to help land "a rich dumdum who will never graduate and keep dropping money into the school indefinitely." Jeff (Joel McHale) takes a bullet for the team by spending the entire day with Pierce (Chevy Chase) who the Dean doesn't want to learn Greendale is going all out to schmooze a new student.

The Natural Beauty of Emma Watson

For his latest project, Natural Beauty, photographer and activist James Houston has but together a series of photographs featuring Emma Watson, Christy Turlington, Adrian Grenier, Brooke Shields, Arizona Muse, and Elle Macpherson with the proceedings going to Global Green USA. You can check out Emma Watson's pics from her photoshoot, a short video introduction of the project, and the full press release inside.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Breakers

Harmony Korine is a divisive filmmaker whose themes and characters are often are far more complicated then they initially appear but whose detractors often point to his limitless self-indulgence and gleeful exploration of his young stars; you shouldn't expect anything less from the writer/director's latest, Spring Breakers.

Korine knew exactly what he was doing in casting three attractive young Disney and ABC Family actresses (Selena GomezVanessa HudgensAshley Benson) to star along with his wife (Rachel Korine) in this tale of four thrill-seeking college students and their week of danger and debauchery over spring break.

Friday with Freida

Sledgehammer 44 #1

There's something very Atomic Robo-ish about this first issue from Mike Mignola and Jason LaTour featuring a battle between men of iron in the middle of WWII (and I mean that as a compliment). Although less wacky than what you'd get from Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener, this first issue of a two-issue limited series about a man of iron who falls from the sky and the Army unit ordered to look after him is a pretty good read.

Although the art doesn't quite explain the electric attack our metal hero uses on the Nazi troops and their robot of destruction, I really enjoyed LaTour's designs. The mysterious man or robot in question, however, isn't the focus of the issue as much as the unit he saves and who is tasked with keeping him out of the reach of the Nazis when his energy is spent.

I know Dark Horse, and Magnola in particular, like these two and three-issue mini-series, but I'm not sure the comic publisher might not have been better off teasing this and then releasing the whole story in a single old school double-sized issue to complete the nostalgic feel of the comic. For fans.

[Dark Horse, $3.50]

Olympus Has Fallen

Olympus Has Fallen comes from a long line of dumb action flicks that are more concerned about high body counts and how many rounds of ammunition can be pumped into nameless causalities at high speeds than little things like plot, logic, and character. Twenty years ago this kind of film would have starred Bruce Willis or Steven Seagal. Not surprisingly, this dumb-as-dirt action flick comes from a pair of first-time screenwriters (Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt) who pull from numerous similar films about a lone disgraced hero in over his head.

Gerard Butler stars as Secret Service Agent Mike Banning, the best of the best and a personal friend to the President of the United States (Aaron Eckhart) and his son (Finley Jacobsen). In the film's opening sequence an unfortunate turn of events forces Banning to sacrifice the First Lady (Ashley Judd) in order to save the President's life. Although Banning's service is exemplary, and he performed his duty perfectly, he finds himself sitting at a desk at the U.S. Treasury for 18 months (which is when the story picks back up).

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Psych - No Country for Two Old Men

After celebrating moving in with Juliet (Maggie Lawson) with their friends and family Shawn (James Roday) goes a bit overboard in his attempts to force Henry (Corbin Bernsen) into a friendship with Juliet's stepfather Lloyd (Jeffrey Tambor). A simple package pick-up escalates quickly and gets his father shot at (twice). Henry's ever-lessening trust in Lloyd isn't improved by an impromptu plane ride into Mexico, being thrown into a Mexican jail, and being kidnapped by the most wanted man in Mexico (Tony Plana).

Arrow - The Huntress Returns

It's a week of returns as not only does Oliver's (Stephen Amell) ex-lover and former crime fighting partner the Huntress (Jessica De Gouw) make her way back to Starling City leaving a trail of bodies while looking for her father (Jeffrey Nordling) before he disappears forever into Witness Protection, but Laurel (Katie Cassidy) and her father (Paul Blackthorne) deal with the shocking return of her mother Dinah (Alex Kingston) who believes Laurel's sister Sarah (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) may still be alive, and Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) makes his second appearance on the show after being offered a job as a valet at Oliver's club by Thea (Willa Holland).

Pretty Little Liars - A dAngerous gAme

A fragile Spencer (Troian Bellisario) returns home from Radley and invites Aria (Lucy Hale), Hanna (Ashley Benson), and Emily (Shay Mitchell) to a welcome home party which she tells them her parents are throwing in Spencer's honor. However, the true reason for the party is revenge, as Spencer has finally given in to Mona (Janel Parrish) and returned from Radley a full-fledged member of the A-Team. After earning Mona's trust by kidnapping Malcolm (Teo Briones) and putting the final nail in Ezra (Ian Harding) and Aria's relationship, Mona comes face-to-face with her reward for delivering the girl's to A on a silver platter - a face-to-face conversation with a very much alive Toby (Keegan Allen).

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hawaii Five-0 - Na Ki'i

The Five-0 task investigate the death of a Kindergarten teacher who took a fall from a four-story building onto a parked car right in front of Dog the Bounty Hunter and his team grabbing their latest bounty. McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) and Danny (Scott Caan) question the victim's boyfriend (Tim Lucason) and co-workers about her series of scrapes and bruises (all caused prior to the accident), but it takes Kono (Grace Park) finding part of a parking stub to lead Five-0 to the discovery that their victim was secretly a roller derby girl.

The Shadow #10

The Shadow is forced to leave George Orwell in the capable hands of his sidekick and pilot Miles Crofton when Cranston's presence is demanded by Major Esmeralda Aguilar and a handful of soldiers who take the traveler to meet the madman who plans to see himself on the throne of Spain when the war ends.

Although taken by force, Cranston is shown every courtesy of a respected guest in El Rey's castle fortress which allows Lamont time to make plans for later that night when the Shadow makes an unexpected appearance during El Rey's dinner party killing the maniac's minions and supporters who plan to help install him on the throne.

Of course the Shadow also has to deal with the Black Sparrow who, although sexually aroused by watching her former lover kill so skillfully, isn't to pleased when the targets in his sights belong to her boss. The comic ends on a cliffhanger as the Shadow unmasks Del Rey, but we'll have to wait a month to find out who is under his mask. Worth a look.

[Dynamite, $3.99]

Bones - The Doom in the Gloom

The Jeffersonian team investigates the murder of a decapitated former Marine sergeant obsessed with the apocalypse whose body, and entire workshop, was burned to a crisp. As Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) and Daisy (Carla Gallo) work to recreate the circumstances of the explosion looking for cause of death (an explosive shotgun blast), Booth (David Boreanaz) and Sweets (John Francis Daley) talk with a former friend (Gloria Garayua) of the victim whose relationship was strained given the victim's obsession with apocalyptic beliefs and prophecies.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine #19

The main storyline is put pretty much on hold as Buffy and Koh catch up with the de-powered Illyria who has been completely drained of her powers by Severin. As to the time-shattereing plans of Severin, we'll have to wait at least another month as the focus shifts back to the B-story and he strange illness which is slowly killing Dawn.

Even without her powers, Illyria quickly diagnoses the problem. The magic used to keep The Key in human form is failing and the mystical energy is slowly leaving Dawn's body. Which means yet another person close to her may have been irrelevantly harmed by Buffy deciding to destroy The Seed and end magic in this reality.

The issue ends with Buffy taking responsibility for her action which still isn't enough for Xander who is watching the woman he loves slowly fade away because Buffy and Angel couldn't keep it in their pants. Despite the dustup, the pair put their issues aside and work together to help save Buffy's little sister. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $2.99]

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Castle - Scared to Death

Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) investigate the death of a woman (Alison Trumbull) who Perlmutter (Arye Gross) confirms died when their heart literally stopped after watching what she believed was a haunted DVD. After talking with the victim's roommate (Vivian Kerr) and ex-boyfriend, Beckett learns the victim was acting increasingly erratic and paranoid in the days leading up to her death including buying several charms to ward off evil. After accidentally watching the DVD while searching the victim's apartment for clues, Castle begins to fear he has been cursed as well.

Batman #18

I really hope writer Scott Snyder is pulling a fast one on fans because I honestly dread what the Bat-titles may be like if the foreshadowing in Batman #18 holds true. Rather than give us Batman's perspective following the loss of his son Damian (even in Batman's own title we don't get Batman's take on the situation?), Snyder gives us an entire issue from the perspective of street rat Harper Row, who, in the spirit of Carrie Kelly, takes to the streets in a costume of her own making to help Batman (whether he wants her help or not). At least it's not a Robin costume... yet.

As in every single issue where Harper appears, there's far too much of the character and her brother (whose defining characteristic still seems to be that he's gay), and not nearly enough Batman. Although barely under control, Batman is running himself ragged and has begun to make small mistakes which cause the young woman to jump into the fray and confront the Dark Knight. The scene of Batman breaking the girl's nose to teach her a lesson doesn't play out all the well for either of them (or fans).

House of Lies - Liability

After spending the night with Tamara (Nia Long), Marty (Don Cheadle) returns to the office for an unexpected reunion with Tamra's husband (Elimu Nelson), with whom he's far more honest about his relationship than Tamara would like, and to try and close the casino deal with the bat-shit crazy Carlson (Mather Zickel) who unnecessarily prolongs negotiations once again.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Mentalist - Red, White and Blue

The CBI is called in to investigate the murder of a army medic (April Billingsley) specializing in helping soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder. Solving the case means working with the victim's platoon commander (Matt McTighe) who is more than a little miffed the CBI took control of the investigation from his men. Talking with another female officer (Lily Nicksay), Jane (Simon Baker) and Lisbon (Robin Tunney) learn the victim had an unknown secret admirer at the time of her death as well as problems with some of the men in her unit. They also discover the man who placed the 911 call but fled the scene was one of the medic's patients (Jesse Luken) who suffers from short-term memory loss and has absolutely no memory of the entire night.

Uncanny X-Men #3

Tipped off by Magneto, the Avengers arrive to arrest Cyclops for the murder of Charles Xavier when the new X-Men show up at the family home of Tempus, one of Cyclops' new recruits. Although we don't get the battle we expect, writer Brian Michael Bendis continually ramps up the tension as Cyclops and Emma Frost do a pretty damn good job of defending their recent actions, turning the blame back on Tony Stark and the Avengers, and making a pretty persuasive argument why Scott Summers' team is necessary in the current Marvel Universe.

Thanks to the time-altering powers of Tempus, the X-Men are able to leave without bloodshed and allow Cyclops and his team to make it home and confront Magneto over his betrayal. Here again, Bendis goes for a far more layered option as Magneto defends his actions and how they helped the X-Men claim an impressive victory of the Avengers.

When all is said and done Cyclops takes Magik's advice to take advantage of the Avengers frozen in time to make a little recruitment visit to the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. Next month should be very interesting. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

G.I. JOE: Retaliation - Snake Eyes vs. Storm Shadow

G.I. JOE:: Retaliation may not open in theaters until March 28 but several new clips have been hitting the over the past week including this short sneak peek at Snake Eyes (Ray Park) vs. Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee).

Young Justice - Endgame

The season-long "Invasion" story arc comes to a close as Miss Martian (Danica McKellar) and Superboy (Nolan North) arrive too late to prevent Batman (Bruce Greenwood), Wonder Woman, Superman (North), Hawkwoman, Jon Stewart, and the Martian Manhunter being found guilty on Rimbor for the crimes The Light an The Reach framed them for. Back on Earth, Blue Beetle (Eric Lopez), Aqualad (Khary Payton), and Green Beetle (Phil Lamarr) fight off Black Beetle (Kevin Grevioux) and the remaining Reach troops who would rather see Earth destroyed than abandoned.

Star Wars #3

Tensions start to fray in Star Wars #3 as Princess Leia becomes increasingly frustrated with Luke's inability to follow orders and his flirtateous relationship with Prithi, another member of Leia's secret squadron. Things aren't going much better for Han and Chewie whose rendezvous with a contact on Coruscant ends with Solo shooting the traitor in the back and a shoot out with Imperial agents.

Unable to get Luke to follow orders, and stung by his words and reminder what he's accomplished for the Rebellion so far, Leia benches her best pilot, but, as Mon Mothma suggests, she most consider whether her jealousy over Luke's relationship with Prithi is clouding her judgement.

Darth Vader arrives at his new assignment, overseeing the Empire's new secret battle station high above the forest moon of Endor: the second Death Star whose construction appears to have been well under way before the Rebellion's destruction of the original Death Star. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $2.99]

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Nikita – The Life We’ve Chosen

After capturing Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca), Amanda (Melinda Clarke) demands a trade with Division; she'll gladly return Alex in return for Ari (Peter Outerbridge) and his half of the key to the encrypted Black Box. Still not able to trust Owen (Devon Sawa) where Amanda and Ari are concerned, Michael (Shane West) assigns Nikita (Maggie Q) and Sean (Dillon Casey) to the prisoner exchange but Ryan (Noah Bean) overrules Michael adds Owen to the team and makes one other small addition to protect Division's secrets which Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford) only discovers after the group are overseas.