Monday, March 31, 2014

The Mentalist - Violets

When Jane (Simon Baker) decides to loan the unit out to help another FBI agent (Pedro Pascal) catch a gang of murdering art thieves every member finds a role to play in an elaborate con involving misdirection, stolen art, Cho punching a suspect in a crowded bar, and a marching band. The team only knows a small fraction of the overall plan to entrap the leader of the crew (Charles Mesure), which is revealed to them as it is to the audience, by first using Abbot (Rockmond Dunbar), Fischer (Emily Swallow), Cho, and Lisbon (Robin Tunney) to bait one of his subordinates (Sean McGowan) and offer the crew a job too good to pass up.

Avengers Craptacular: Black Widow & Punisher

I'm disappointed that DC Animation is headed full-speed into the New 52 era, but I guess I should count my blessings that despite falling from their former greatness at least they aren't sharing the gutter with Marvel animation. There's so much awful it's impossible to know where to begin when discussing their latest straight-to-DVD feature Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher, but I'll start here: This is the worst Punisher movie I've seen (and that's saying something!).

The story features a forced team-up between T&A Bishoujo Black Widow (Jennifer Carpenter) and murdering Punisher (Brian Bloom) to take down the terrorist group Leviathan who is using stolen S.H.I.E.L.D. technology to create mind-controlled soldiers. Featuring an anime-inspired style Marvel has fallen in love with recently (and even DC is using more of), the storyline also involves Black Widow's former lover turned terrorist (Grant George) and a mid-level thug (Kyle Hebert) the Punisher is killing his way through the streets to get his hands on.

Once Upon a Time - Quiet Minds

Magic has a price. The return of Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) in the major thread in both the current storyline in Storybooke and the flashbacks to the Enchanted Forest where Neal (Michael Raymond-James) raises his father from the grave unaware of what will be taken from him. An injured Neal's arrival in Storybrooke, unaware of the events which happened over the past year, leads him to joining the search for his missing father, but the closer Emma and Neal get to finding him the more obvious it is that something is quite wrong. Before the end of the episode both Emma and Rumpelstiltskin will loose someone they love.

Rocky and Bullwinkle #1

The first issue of Boom Studios new Rocky and Bullwinkle comic is fun, if not quite as madcap and zany as I would have hoped. In the style of the television show, the two parts of Rocky and Bullwinkle's main story (involving Bullwinkle's accidentally acquiring psychic powers, and Boris and Natasha playing fake psychics) are interrupted by a short Dudley Do-Right adventure involving Snidley Whiplash's plan to increase Dudley Do-Right's attractiveness to Nell allowing the villain freedom to commit his crimes in peace.

In both the main story and the Dudley Do-Right interlude the villains are defeated by their own actions as Boris and Natasha are unable to keep up their fraud (or kill moose and squirrel), and the horse pheromones Whiplash sprays Dudley lead not only to the villain being captured by the Mountie but also chased down by stampeding mares.

As a fan of the show, and the variant cover by Stephanie Buscema, I'm glad I picked up this okay first issue, but I'm not sure how long I'll stay with the title. For fans.

[IDW, $3.99]

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Emerald City Comicon 2014 Cosplay Showcase

Here's a collection of cosplay from this year's Emerald City Comicon. My favorites include New 52 Supergirl (1:04), Yaya Han's Power Girl (1: 09), and the unknowned winged-cosplay which closes the video.

Worlds' Finest #21

"First Contact" comes to a close as the mad-scientist and evil doppelganger of Power Girl's old friend Ken succeeds in ripping open time and space to a portal back to Earth-2. For the first time I realized how similar this title is to Samurai Jack as the lost heroes finally find a portal home only to be denied at the last second and will continue their quest elsewhere.

Although there's a lot of family bickering here, Worlds' Finest #21 includes some nice moments as well including Batman and Huntress instinctively working as a team and even offer a slight celebration afterwards.

Seeing the evil Superman inside the alternate dimension the pair believed to be their old home doesn't deter them from agreeing to continue to seek a way back to their Earth. Although I don't think we're likely to see a Power Girl/Superman team-up anytime soon I'd like DC continue to explore the Batman/Huntress relationship going forward to see where it may lead. Worth a look.

[DC, $2.99]

Teen Titans Go! - Missing

In an episode that references both DuckTales and The NeverEnding Story, "Missing" provides a get-rich scheme for Robin (Scott Menville), Cyborg (Khary Payton), and Beast Boy (Greg Cipes) by returning Silkie to Killer Moth (Menville). Although Starfire (Hynden Walch) is heartbroken to find her beloved pet missing, Raven (Tara Strong) is relieved - at least until Starfire turns her unwanted affection, and tongue baths, onto her.

Larfleeze #9

Larfleeze versus an entire family of gods from another dimension! Continuing the storyline of Laord of the Hunt's family and their troubles with a certain "orange monkey," Larfleeze #9 offers up the entire squabbling family against the Orange Lantern who proves more than up to the task (especially once his greed is fed by learning one member of the family claims to possess a "oneness with all things").

Along with further the story of Larfleeze retrieving his butler Pulsar Stargrave and murdering a god, we also get a bizarre reaction from Sena the Wanderer to the entire series of events which may mean wedding chimes for the "orange monkey" in the near future, and the first appearance of one of my favorite Green Lanterns who shows up to answer a planetary distress call setting up next month's battle between Larfleeze and G'Nort!

Although I was hoping for a bit more G'Nort in this issue, Larfleeze #9 continues the ongoing storyline of the Orange Lantern and Pulsar Stragrave's interactions with the Laord's family while setting up what should be very interesting tenth issue next month. Worth a look.

[DC, $2.99]

Continuum - Season Two

Continuum's Second Season continues the adventures Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols), a time-displaced cop from the future trapped in the present to find a stop a group of rebels from 2077 who plan on changing history. Highlights from the season include Keira reconnecting with an older version of her partner from the future (Karin Konoval), Keira finding her cyber-systems temporarily shutdown by a CMR psychological program (Alessandro Juliani) to determine her psychological fitness, the reveal of the the mysterious Mr. Escher (Hugh Dillon), the trial of Julian Randol (Richard Harmon), and Kiera being arrested for Agent Gardiner's (Nicholas Lea) murder.

Ongoing stories involve both Kiera and Alec (Erik Knudsen) questioning why Kiera and Liber8 were sent into the past, Alec's relationship with Emily (Magda Apanowicz), the rise of Theseus, and the splintering of Liber8 into separate factions led by Travis (Roger R. Cross) and Sonya (Lexa Doig).

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #3

More familiar faces return as Jubal Early makes his move and subdues each member of Serenity's crew, and its new guests, one-by-one (although he does forget about Kaylee) while River sleeps searching for more secrets she can use to fight the Alliance.

Kaylee's defeat of Early gives the ship's mechanic a bit of revenge from one of the show's most disturbing sequences where she found herself at the insane assassin's mercy and now can turn the tables. Although he's able to work his way through the crew, I am surprised with how quickly the comic ends his piece of the story (at least for now).

With River's remembrance of others who, like her, were manipulated and experimented on by the Alliance means the crew will have to make a side-trip before rescuing Zoe which also means Mal needs to recruit another member to the team. It also likely means the mini-series will finally begin pulling the curtain back on those who experimented on River and means the possible return of pairs of soldiers with hands of blue. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $3.50]

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland - To Catch a Thief

Friendships will be tested and new partnerships formed as Once Upon a Time in Wonderland sets the stage for the next week's series finale (ABC had deciding against bringing back the spin-off or a Second Season). The Red Queen (Emma Rigby) is dead, but Jafar (Naveen Andrews) offers the Knave (Michael Socha) a chance to bring her back to life - if the genie can get his hands on the sorcerer's missing staff and help him change the laws of magic. Betraying Alice (Sophie Lowe) and Cyrus (Peter Gadiot) to get his hands on the staff, the former thief eventually relents and agrees to help Alice and Cyrus put an end to Jafar.

Star Wars #15

The latest issue of Star Wars centers around the Rebellion's arrival to Arrochar, Leia's impending wedding to Prince Kaspar, and Luke's reaction to the news which gets him grounded from the newly-formed Rogue Squadron and seriously contemplating leaving the Rebellion.

Very much a middle-issue of an arc, Star Wars #15 gives us our first look at the world which Leia hopes to make the new permanent home of the Rebellion, Kaspar, and how the unusual circumstances of a marriage to cement the partnership between the planet to the Rebellion effect everyone, particularly Luke.

We don't get much in the way of action here, other than Luke's reckless flying that eventually gets him grounded by Wedge, but the comic doesn't end before we get a brief hint of the darker intentions of the royal house of Arrochar suggesting how the storyline may play out. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $2.99]

Justice League: War

Based on DC Comics' New 52 reboot and the first arc of the current Justice League series by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee, Justice League: War isn't as awful as I suspected. It's not actually a good movie, but most of the issues here have to do with the source material itself rather than any mistakes in the adaptation into the film.

Replacing the missing Aquaman with Captain Marvel (Sean Astin), who I still refuse to call him Shazam, the storyline is basically intact as the various heroes of the Justice League come together to defeat Darkseid (Steve Blum) and the invading armies of Apokolips. As with Lee's original designs, everything looks and feels too muted including the super-hero costumes, particularly those of Superman (Alan Tudyk) and Wonder Woman (Michelle Monaghan), that lack any pop. And although (thankfully) the film chooses to stay away from that awful yellow piping on the Flash's (Christopher Gorham) costume we saw at the end of The Flashpoint Paradox, Green Lantern (Justin Kirk) is still stuck with the unnecessary light-up pieces of his costume.

Psych - The Breakup

After eight years the doors of Psych are closed in the series finale which features Shawn (James Roday) and Gus (Dulé Hill) working one more murder case while Shawn struggles to tell his best friend that he's decided to move to San Fransisco to be with Juliet (Maggie Lawson). While offering a typical wacky adventure, "The Breakup" makes several nice nods to the show's past while showcasing that Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) is in good hands without Juliet, Shawn, and Gus as Betsy Brannigan (Mira Sorvino) proves more than up to the challenge of solving crime without the use of a fake psychic (and her choice of Junior Detective is a nice touch as well).

Friday, March 28, 2014

Uncanny X-Men #19.NOW

While Cyclops and his team head out into the field to find a new mutant, Hijack gets a visit from S.H.I.E.L.D. who is ready to charge the mutant as a terrorist unless he provides information about Cyclops and the location of his team.

It turns out Hijack isn't the only one in trouble as Cyclops and his team walk into a well-designed trap involving killer Sentinels and a power-dampening field that nearly gets them all killed. The group is only saved thanks to Magik's showcasing what Doctor Strange has been teaching her in the past.

Although highlighted by some fun small comedic moments (such as Goldballs discovering his powers work again) Uncanny X-Men #19.NOW is certainly one of the darker issues of the series so far (which is saying something for a comic that gave us a multi-issue arc in a Hell dimension). In that same vein, the latest issue also touches on events in Madripoor answering a couple of lingering questions concerning the fate of the real Dazzler and the source of Mystique's mutant growth hormone. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

Mind Games - Cauliflower Man

A disgraced researcher and failed whistleblower (Marcus Giamatti) hires Ross (Christian Slater) and Clark (Steve Zahn) to convince his former colleague to use his access to come public about his former employer's dangerous product. However the man's wife has a different story to tell including her husband's history of alcoholism and crazy behavior which got him dismissed from his job and makes everyone but Ross to doubt their newest client who (despite the burgeoning success suggested at the end of last week's episode) is also their only client.


Obsessed with the story of Noah since he was 13 years-old, writer/director Darren Aronofsky finally sees his vision of a quasi-fantasy/religious take on the biblical tale of the Genesis flood crash into the big screen today like a tidal wave. Sadly, as the characters of Aronofsky's films usually learn, obsession leads to trouble.

Bad Words

As with most of the Bad Santa imitators which have popped up in recent years Bad Words is, at best, a mixed bag. Far better than the unfortunate (and best forgotten) Bad Teacher, this film directed by and starring Jason Bateman about a middle-aged man-child entering a national 8th grade spelling competition to deal with his own personal issues certainly provides its share of laughs along the way.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Teenage Mutant Turtles (2014) teaser trailer

Yeah... that's about what I expected (I wish it wasn't, but there you go). Here's the first teaser trailer for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie starring Megan Fox and produced by Michael Bay which opens in theaters on August 12th.

Arrow - Birds of Prey

The arrest of Frank Bertinelli (Jeffrey Nordling) brings Oliver's (Stephen Amell) murderous ex-girlfriend the Huntress (Jessica De Gouw) back to town to kill her father who Laurel‘s (Katie Cassidy) has returned to work to prosecute. When the Huntress shows up to take her revenge she walks straight into a police trap, loosing her chance to kill Frank, but that doesn't stop her, and several armed gunmen, from taking control of the courthouse and take hostages who include Laurel.

Supergirl #29

Set prior to last month's issue of Red Lanterns where Kara started the process of beginning to control the rage unleashed by her newest jewelry accessory, Supergirl #29 picks up with the newest Red Lantern completely out of control and her former roommate, who is secretly the Silver Banshee, stepping in to try and stop Kara's rampage.

Supergirl #29 struggles with selling the idea of Kara as a Red Lantern. While I think ultimate result of her time as a Lantern may help the overall development of the character and lead her to come to terms with feelings she's suppressed and ignored since her New 52 introduction, I'm not all that keen on watching the journey itself unfold.

Despite once again floating the idea that no Red Lantern can ever remove their ring and survive (something Guy Gardner has already accomplished) we know Kara's days as a Red Lantern are numbered, and unless someone is going to do full issue of a Kara and Dex-Starr team-up I'll probably wait until this journey is over before picking up another Supergirl comic. Hit-and-Miss.

[DC, $3.99]

Glee - New Directions

Using her friendship with Sue (Jane Lynch) to her advantage, Holly Holiday (Gwyneth Paltrow) convinces McKinley's principal to give Holly and April Rhodes (Kristin Chenoweth)  one week to try and find a way to "shoehorn music" into the existing clubs following the end of Glee Club. This leads to Holly's performance of Eddie Murphy's "Party All The Time" during a meeting of the school's Animal Husbandry Club which, of course, fails miserably leaving Will (Matthew Morrison) no choice but admit defeat and close the choir room for the final time (but not before we get a host of new and recreated numbers for the show's 101st episode and the past and current members of New Directions coming together to create a short film thanking Mr. Shue and offering their look at the teacher who changed their lives for his future daughter or son).

The Grand Budapest Hotel

For his latest film writer/director Wes Anderson takes his trademark style to the fictional Republic of Zubrowka and a once-proud mountainside resort known as The Grand Budapest Hotel with a rich history to share. Relying heavily on narration, the film struggles a bit to get going by beginning in the present and slowly peeling back layers (each jumping 20 years or so into the past) until we finally arrive in the pre-World War II 1930s and the story of fastidious old-school concierge M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) and his the new lobby boy Zero (Tony Revolori).

During the overly-elaborate and unnecessarily complicated (although certainly not boring) first 20-minutes or so as the movie introduces an elderly author (Tom Wilkinson) beginning his own flashbacks to his time at the hotel as a younger man (Jude Law) when he happened to meet the elderly version of Zero (F. Murray Abraham) and thus learned his story, Anderson relies on a variety of his usual bag of tricks involving beautiful cinematography and set design highlighted by the use of some marvelous miniatures.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Person of Interest - Allegiance

Shaw (Sarah Shahi) takes point on The Machine's latest number, an engineer (Nazneen Contractor) for an alternative energy company who spends most of her time on reconstruction projects in Third World countries and who is obsessed with convincing a U.N. diplomat (Michael Gill) to allow an Iranian refuge, and her former interpreter (Haaz Sleiman) and lover, entry into the country. Although the man is being held as a potential terrorist suspect, the real reason behind his imprisonment proves to be his knowledge of the failure of the generations powering the recently-constructed Hydroelectric plant in his country who the head of the company (Casey Biggs) will do anything to keep quiet.

The Blacklist - Ivan

While Reddington (James Spader) begins carefully deconstructing Tom‘s (Ryan Eggold) lies by exposing Lucy Brooks' (Rachel Brosnahan) disappearance and laying the breadcrumbs which will compel Lizzie (Megan Boone) to uncover the woman's true identity, he also puts the FBI on the scent of a Russian cyber criminal known as Ivan (Mark Ivanir) who he believes is responsible for a murdered a NSA programmer in charge of the development of "Project Skeleton Key" (an electronic cyber-weapon created to completely cripple a country during wartime without ever firing a shot), the prototype which is now missing.

Batman '66 #9

Along with a best-forgotten back-up story involving the world's greatest detective and his protege being duped by Alfred's nefarious lookalike relative taking his place inside Wayne Manor, the latest issue of Batman '66 pits the Dynamic Duo against Zelda the Great who Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson find masquerading as a stage magician in Gotham City while on a double-date.

Despite the fact that Zelda isn't breaking any laws, Bruce and Dick ditch their dates (one of whom is Kathy Kane and the other who Zelda will later take on as a potential apprentice of her own) to don their tights and promptly be taken hostage by the villain and her minions.

Featuring not one but two death traps, Batman '66 #9 offers some enjoyable (if forgettable) moments along the way to the heroes eventually taking down the villain while also crafting a possible origin story for the young woman who Zelda may have turned to a life of crime. For fans.

[DC, $3.99]

Intelligence - The Event Horizon

While performing a cyber-render of the murder of the Deputy Director of FBI and a retired intelligence officer Gabriel (Josh Holloway) finds evidence that implicates him as the assassin. That along with Gabriel's hazy recollections of the previous night and the fact that one of the men killed was responsible for letting the man who killed Gabriel's wife go free and that's more than enough for both Weatherly (Tomas Arana) and Tetazoo (Lance Reddick) to step-in, take control of CyberCom from Lillian (Marg Helgenberger), and put Gabriel in holding under suspicion that someone may have hacked the chip and forced Gabriel to commit murder.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Castle - The Greater Good

Beckett (Stana Katic) and Castle (Nathan Fillion) investigate the murder of a Wall Street broker who was secretly working for the U.S. Attorney's Office looking into his company and boss (Kevin Kilner) for breaking several federal laws. The investigation turns up a childhood friend turned gangbanger (Ramon Fernandez) from the victim's past who was helping the broker with a mysterious get-rich scheme involving an empty Swiss Bank Account and a secret transfer of $25,000,000 involving the Venezuelan Consulate he made under the U.S. Attorney's nose that got the man killed.

Samurai Jack #6

In the beginning of a new gender-bending arc, Samurai Jack is surprised by the arrival of The Scotsman (who isn't so much a Scotsman anymore as a Scotswoman). Learning his friend has been cursed, the samurai sets out to right the wrong which gets more complicated by the fact that The Scotsman wasn't completely forthcoming with the series of events that led him to show up at Jack's campsite in a dress.

Finding the leprechauns responsible, and learning that the curse was their reprisal for his friend's drunken rampage, Samurai Jack agrees to deal with the leprechauns' enemy Chullin the Cruel if they will agree to remove the curse. Although a deal is struck, it is not entirely to Jack's liking as until he fulfills his half of the bargain he, along with The Scotsman, will be trapped in a woman's body.

The return of The Scotsman (whatever his current form) and the unique nature of the story set-up what should be one of Jack's more memorable adventures (with some nice art by Brittney Williams). Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

The Mentalist - White as the Driven Snow

With Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) kidnapped and Richard Haibach (William Mapother) turning himself over to the FBI while denying any involvement in either her disappearance or the murders of Oscar Ardiles (David Norona) and LaRoche (Pruitt Taylor Vince) the FBI frantically searches to discover the truth. Agent Abbot (Rockmond Dunbar) puts Wiley (Joe Adler) and the team to punching a hole into Haibach's ironclad alibi while searching for an accomplice he must be using to commit the crimes. With the FBI not having any solid evidence to hold him,  Jane (Simon Baker) and Rigsby (Owain Yeoman) get unpredictable including kidnapping Haibach and stranding his lawyer (Penny Peyser) in the middle of nowhere.

Daredevil #1

Picking up from the events of the last series' final issue, Matt Murdock has publicly outted himself as Daredevil, was disbarred in New York, and has moved across the country to San Francisco with his kinda sorta girlfriend Kristen McDuffie.

Bringing over the same creative team from the last series (making a renumbering even less necessary), Murdock's new situation allows the drama queen to publicly share his unique abilities with the local police. However, the hero does find jumping from building to building much more difficult in California than in the middle of Hell's Kitchen.

Daredevil #1 sets up the new series with McDuffie helping Murdock in both the courtroom and as an extra pair of eyes on the unfamiliar streets as the vigilante attempts to save a kidnapped girl who terrorists plan to use as a living bomb. My only real complaint with the issue how hard it works to stay away from the subject of Foggy Nelson before the inevitable tease of the outcome of his cancer treatment. And no, I'm not buying Waid and Samnee killed him off-panel. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

Monday, March 24, 2014

How I Met Your Mother - The End of the Aisle

Heading into next week's (long overdue) two-part series finale, "The End of the Aisle" deals with Robin's (Cobie Smulders) last-minute wedding jitters which are only enhanced when Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) delivers Robin her long-lost locket which she immediately realizes Ted (Josh Radnor) must have found. It takes both Ted, ignoring the words he has longed to hear from his former love, and later the woman (Cristin Milioti) who he will eventually marry and Barney himself to stop Robin from becoming a runaway bride and find the the only reason she needs to stay and to marry the man she loves.

Once Upon a Time - The Tower

Prince Charming's (Josh Dallas) fear of doing better as a father than he did with Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) is the common theme in both the flashbacks to the Enchanted Forest and to the current storyline in Storybrooke where Charming, Emma, and Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) all search for the Wicked Witch of the West (Rebecca Mader) not realizing the woman is already worming her way into Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) good graces.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #1

Magic has been restored to the world and Buffy and her Scoobies are working with vampires to put an end to the last of the zompires, but that's only the beginning of the first issue kicking off a brand-new season which will reunite Buffy with her long-lost mentor and showcase that the rules have very much changed (again).

The death of the army of zompires ends the truce between Buffy and Vicki's vampires who it turns out aren't so much afraid of sunlight any more and have the ability turn into mists and giant bats (although Spike is still limited to wise-cracking and looking cool in his black trench coat with a heroic backstory - as Andrew points out).

Thankfully Buffy and her team are saved with the timely arrival of Faith, Kennedy's soldiers, and the adolescent Giles who shows up casting magic in Latin to everyone's surprise. Giles and Faith aren't the only familiar faces to make an appearance as Xander appears to be haunted by the ghost of Anya. (Ghost? Hallucination? Or possibly The First?)

Atlantis - Season One

The BBC version of Atlantis comes to DVD and Blu-ray in this collection of the show's First Season. Featuring the misadventures of lost wanderer Jason (Jack Donnelly) along with his new-found Atlantian friends Pythagoras (Robert Emms) and Hercules (Mark Addy), most of the show's initial season sets up the workings of the world and various supporting characters including an Oracle (Juliet Stevenson) who knows far more about Jason's destiny than she's willing to share, the standoffish King Minos (Alexander Siddig) and his evil wife Pasiphae (Sarah Parish), and the beautiful Princess Ariadne (Aiysha Hart) who captures the hero's heart.

Among the uneven First Season's highlights are the opening episode involving Jason fighting The Minotaur, a goofy episode involving Jason being cursed by the goddess Hectate, Jason entering a hero's tournament to prove himself to Ariadne, Hercules' attempt to sacrifice himself for the woman he loves, and the two-part season finale which finally reveals Jason's true parentage.

Transformers: Regeneration One #100 (of 4)

Way back in 1984 Marvel Comics commissioned a four-issue mini-series for the popular toy line. Lasting 76 extra issues, the original Transformers came to an end in 1991 with Transformers #80. Returning to complete the unfinished tale, writer Simon Furman and artist Guido Guidi have put together 20 more issues of the story culminating in this extra-sized 100th issue finale.

As a rousing finale Transformers: Regeneration One #100 is good, but not great. Several characters get little time despite the extra pages (many of which are used not for the story but various supplemental material) as the final issue races through Galvatron's subplot spending nearly the entire issue on Rodimus Prime and his battle with the Deathbringer in Zero Space and a somewhat convoluted ending involving a Multiverse of Transformers.

Fans will certainly want to pick this one up (despite its price-tag), but it is a little light on action (other than Galvatron's defeat) while relegating several key characters such as Grimlock, Shockwave, and Starscream to small roles or cameos. For fans.

[IDW, $3.99]

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Teen Titans Go! - Little Buddies

After a battle against Brother Blood and his vicious robotic Pain Bot, Cyborg (Khary Payton) decides to adopt the damaged robot in an attempt to repair and rehabilitate him. First hiding his new sidekick from his disapproving teammates, Cyborg's secret is eventually exposed when the other Titans discover the murder-machine in their kitchen.

Scandal - Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Putting aside the drama of the Vice-President Sally Langston's (Kate Burton) murder of her husband, although we do get the subplot of Langston's campaigning to steal away the NRA endorsement from Fitz (Tony Goldwyn), "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" deals primarily with the fallout of Jake's (Scott Foley) murder of three members of the Publius conspiracy including James (Dan Bucatinsky). Allowed to live, David Rosen (Joshua Malina) struggles with ignoring what happened and sweeping James' murder, and the disappearances of two of his friends, under the rug as nothing more than a car jacking gone wrong.

The Winsome Amanda Seyfried

Helping to promote her role in Seth MacFarlane's new summer comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West, actress Amanda Seyfried is the cover girl for the April issue of W Magazine. In the interview the actress discusses making out with Megan Fox in Jennifer's Body, her first boyfriend, working with Noah Baumbach on While We’re Young, her love of a really good sex scene, adopting her dog Finn from Big Love, and how Les Misérables made her a star. You can find the pics from her photo shoot inside.

Nova #15

After getting Cosmo the medical care he needs, Nova turns his attention to taking out Skaarn's soldiers now that their leader has used Knowhere's transporters to plan a heist of a super-powered weapon from the armored vaults of The Keep. Of course it takes the young hero a few tries before finding a way to neutralize the threat.

The use of the teleporter also allows Sam to return to Earth to check in at school, sleep through most of his classes, and even cause a bit of unintended mischief before returning to Knowhere. Despite Sam being separated from Beta Ray Bill in the last issue, Nova #15 returns the space-horse who eventually makes his way back to Knowehere (after defeating the soldiers Nova keeps teleporting his way).

Ending on a cliffhanger, the comic brings the two heroes back together to stop Skaarn who, despite lacking his henchmen, has managed to steal a weapon embued with the Power Cosmic which sets up next month's big throwdown. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland - Heart of the Matter

Despite having all three genies under his control, Jafar (Naveen Andrews) struggles to proceed with his plan suspecting the Knave (Michael Socha) is responsible. After the Jabberwocky (Peta Sergeant) discovers the new genie's heart is missing and uses Red Queen (Emma Rigby) to force the location of it from the Knave's lips it becomes a race to recover the heart as Alice (Sophie Lowe) and Cyrus (Peter Gadiot) travel to Storybrooke with the help of The White Rabbit (John Lithgow).

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Community - Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons

When the group learns of a rift between Buzz Hickey (Jonathan Banks) and his estranged son Hank (David Cross), who just happens to be an avid Dungeons & Dragons player, the group plans a special night of gaming in an attempt to bring the two together. Things don't go quite as planned when Hank immediately sees through the ruse and decides to randomly redistribute the characters sheet from Abed's (Danny Pudi) carefully constructed quest meant to bring a family together which becomes a competition between the teams led by father and son.

Chicago Fire's Sophia Bush turns up the heat to the Max

Promoting her new show Chicago P.D., playing the same character from Chicago Fire, actress Sophia Bush is the cover girl for the April issue of Maxim. You can find the pics from her cover shoot inside.

G.I. JOE #14

Shifting the focus from Siren back to the JOEs, G.I. JOE #14 plays on several of the current comic's ongoing storylines including Cover Girl's continued distrust of Duke, Hashtag's return to action after being temporarily sidelined, and the JOEs becoming aware of the existence of Cobra's newest recruit and tracing her message for help back to a Cobra training compound.

After a pair of issues focused specifically on Siren and her weaving the history of Cobra, I'm glad to finally get back to the JOEs. Opening up with Hashtag's new role as the team's communication expert we see her becoming both obsessed with the encrypted message from Siren and the fallout of a Cobra trap that put many JOE lives in danger.

Paul Allor's choice to pair up Cover Girl and Hashatag on a covert mission without Duke's approval works well (even if it may be far too late to save Siren and her son at this point). Dealing with what they find should prove challenging for the two women and their small team. Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

Perception - Obsession

Percpetion's Second Season comes to a close with a finale putting both Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack) livelihood in jeopardy when he is accused of stalking his ex-girlfriend Dr. Caroline Newsome (Kelly Rowan). The professor's agitated state leads to his metal disorder rearing its head (in the smallest of ways) in front of his class which threatens his job at the university when a rich donor (Philip Casnoff) demands Pierce be given a psychiatric evaluation to prove the man is safe to teach impressionable young minds (such as the donor's daughter).

Friday, March 21, 2014

Supergirl by Mostflogged

Psych - A Nightmare on State Street

Gus' (Dulé Hill) attempts to get control of his nightmares, which he refuses to admit are caused by his increasing fear of Shawn (James Roday) abandoning him to live in San Fransisco with Juliet (Maggie Lawson), by agreeing to dream therapy with Dr. Ashford M. Simpson (Bruce Campbell) offers the penultimate episode of Psych to a variety of odd sequences as an increasingly tired Burton Guster has trouble distinguishing between the real world and that of his dreams which include a haunted house, evil children, and Curt SmithLassiter (Timothy Omundson), and Woody (Kurt Fuller) all being eaten by zombies.

Mind Games - Apophenia

With a reporter gunning for a takedown piece on the brothers' new company and new job involving changing the mind of a Congressman just days before a vote, Ross (Christian Slater) and Clark (Steve Zahn) have their hands full. Things get no easier when the success of bringing out the Congressman's old personality (by recreating the sounds and smells of the time when gun-legislation was all that mattered to him) to pass an important gun bill also renews friction between the politician and the son who hired them which hits all too close for Clark who is determined to set things right and makes an emotional appeal to Ross, Megan (Megalyn Echikunwoke), Sam, Miles (Gregory Marcel), and Latrell (Cedric Sanders) for their help by attempting to use the subconscious to bring father and son back together again.

Powerpuff Girls #7

The momentary peace in Townsville after Blossom, Buttercup, and Bubbles defeated HIM and Mojo Jojo that allowed the girls a chance to do their own experiments in Professor Utonium's laboratory is disrupted by the first annual Monster Day as creatures from Monster Island who the heroines have beaten in the past all converge on the city on the same day to wreak havoc (and regain their lost confidence).

Written and drawn by Derek Charm (whose take on the characters is quite good), the cliffhanger ending of the first issue of the two-issue arc offers something we don't see very often: a trio of bruised and beaten Powerpuff Girls giving up when they realize the monsters' invasion will only last a single day and they can clean-up the city tomorrow.

Even with their defeat and the overwhelming odds stacked against them I'd be surprised if we don't see the Powerpuff Girls leap back into action next issue rather than let the monsters' rampage continue. Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

Muppets Most-ly Wanted

After the success of 2011's big-screen relaunching of the Muppets franchise, director James Bobin and co-writer Nicholas Stoller return (along with Christophe Beck who once again writes the songs) for a mostly enjoyable sequel that sadly lacks the heart of the previous film.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Muppets Most Wanted. It works as a wacky caper comedy, albeit not nearly as well as The Great Muppet Caper, with the trademarks of The Muppet franchise including cameos, running gags, frog and pig romance, and several fun (if not that memorable) songs. But ranking it against the Muppets other four major theatrical releases I would place it solidly last behind The Muppets Take Manhattan.

Picking up directly following the events of The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted begins with the group hiring Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) as their new agent who helps his boss, escaped thief Constantine (Matt Vogel) swich places with Kermit (Steve Whitmire) to use the Muppet's world tour as cover for a series of robberies.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Arrow - Suicide Squad

With Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) frantically searching for any leads to find Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett), even going so far as threaten Alexi Leonov (Eugene Lipinski) and Bratva for information to put Deathstroke in the ground before one-eyed super-assassin makes good on his threat to destroy Oliver's life, Lyla Michaels (Audrey Marie Anderson) taps her ex-husband, and current on-again/off-again love interest, Diggle (David Ramsey) to lead Amanda Waller's (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) Suicide Squad and retrieve a chemical weapon from a smuggler and terrorist (Lee Majdoub) in Markovia whose life Diggle saved six years ago.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #32

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Northampton exile comes to an end with the arrival of Koya and his flock of assassins. The ensuing battle brings Leonardo all the way back to fight alongside his brothers and Splinter, creates a rift between Raphael and Alopex (ending my hopes of seeing more of the two any time soon), and reveals the existence of April's unusual friends to her parents.

Given Leonardo's brainwashing and his distance from the rest of the Turtles it's good to see him back in the thick of it when his family needs him most. It's also clear that despite the Shredder's teachings Leonardo is no more bloodthirsty or vengeful than the the turtle was before his time in the Foot Clan.

I have to say I really enjoyed Ross Campbell's art in this issue, especially with Alopex (who I am definitely going to miss as the arctic fox doesn't accompany the turtles back to New York) and as he captures the joy of the Turtles in the midst of the battle with assassins. Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]