Monday, June 30, 2014

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #6 (of 6)

Despite teasing us with a new Broancoat rebellion and an army of River-like assassins to fight, Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #6 wraps up the six-issue mini-series mainly concerned with the planning and execution of breaking Zoe out of an Alliance prison and introducing a dangerous new villain.

The series brings Jayne back onto the ship as well as two new members in Iris (another brainwashed assassin who, at least so far, is less wacky than River but no less deadly) and Bea who seems to have earned a spot on the ship with the halt to her rebellion and the help she provides while rescuing Zoe. How long either sticks around is anyone's guess.

The only sequence I thought felt out of place was the confrontation between the frehsly-rescued Zoe and the Operative. It's not that I don't feel that scene would have taken place, I'm just not quite buying taking place at that particular moment which seems a bit shoehorned into the comi (plus it removes an intriguing character from the fold). Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $3.50]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Vengeance is Mine

Despite Splinter's (Hoon Lee) objections, Leonardo (Jason Biggs) leads the team into the Shredder's (Kevin Michael Richardson) lair to break Karai (Kelly Hu) out of the Foot Clan's dungeon. Although Michelangelo (Greg Cipes) is injured, the plan is a success. Reuniting father and daughter, Splinter attempts to curb Karai's need for revenge while still being truthful and sharing his history with Shredder and the events which lead to the death of Karai's mother.

Superman #32

I haven't been that big a fan of the New 52 boyish Superman who is far removed from moral pillar of the DCU he was before the reboot. Offering a new creative team in writer Geoff Johns and artist John Romita Jr., Superman #32 begins a new arc exploring Superman's distance from humanity (even in the guise of Clark Kent) by introducing a new character in Ulysses.

Born on Earth but sent into the Fourth Dimension by his scientist parents 25 years ago, Ulysses returns home following a monster from the Fourth Dimension he helps Superman stop. The near-identical origin story feels a bit much, but it also gives Superman someone who to relate to. I have a suspicion where the storyline is headed but I hope I'm wrong and Ulysses doesn't become he villain in yet another Superman vs. Evil Superman-lite tale.

Superman #32 doesn't sell me completely on the comic going forward, but it does pique my curiosity as to where Johns and Romita will take the Man of Steel. Worth a look.

[DC, $3.99]

Continuum - Last Minute

Capping what has been an impressive Third Season, "Last Minutes" forces Kiera (Rachel Nichols) into making some hard decisions both about her present and the future she's been trying to return to for three years. It all begins when Kiera and Brad's (Ryan Robbins) escape from the world is interrupted by time-traveling Alec (Erik Knudsen) and Emily (Magda Apanowicz) who barely survived an attack orchestrated the other Alec Sadler. The attack added to Halo's imminent launch decades too early force Kiera to seek out help from the most unlikely of places.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Powerpuff Girls #10

Things get a bit groovy in the conclusion of the two-part arc as the Boogie Man transforms Bubbles, Blossom, and Buttecup along with the Rowdyruff Boys into 70s, free love, disco-lovin' fools. Thankfully Buttercup's natural hatred of disco allows her to break the spell and the two groups to agree to team-up to take down the Boogie Man. Oh course that's where the giant robots come in. That's right, giant robots!

Realizing he stands a chance at defeat, the Boogie Man calls on Klin-Ton to save the day. Stepping up to fight on the side of the Powerpuff Girls and Rowdyruff Boys, the teen pop band 3D (who are actually an alien glam rock band) together form the Ironium Viking for a battle of giant robots pitting the power of disco versus that of rock and roll.

Whether that made any sense to you at all, Powerpuff Girls #10 is the kind of insanity you don't want to miss. It's even got a cameo from Mojo Jojo who is foiled yet again. Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

Rookie Blue - Heart Breakers, Money Makers

Sent out along with the other local divisions to seize illegally-bought goods from criminals awaiting trial or already in prison, Andy (Missy Peregrym) and her new rookie Duncan (Matthew Owen Murray) run into a little trouble with a entrepreneur (Benjamin Ayres) who had been running illegal poker games out of his whom when the man decides to punch Duncan and run rather than turn over the items on the list. With the help of Nick (Peter Mooney) and Swarek (Ben Bass) the pair manage not only to track the man down but untangle the drama involving his wife and recover thousands in cash. Duncan does get punched in the face and punk out of a volunteer assignment later in the episode, but stills shows some improvement on the job.

Sunday with Alyssa

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The LEGO Movie

The LEGO Movie isn't the first animated feature to be developed after a toy line but it's hard to imagine someone doing one better. Centered around the misadventures of construction worker Emmet Brickowoski (Chris Pratt) and his new friends who take on the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell), The LEGO Movie is a clever tale that not only delivers one of the most fun movies of the year but leaves the audience with a nice message for both children and their parents.

Filled with some amazing GCI effects crafting a world made entirely of LEGO Bricks which don't necessarily need 3D to be effective, the movie holds up to multiple viewings. In the true definition of a family film, Emmet's journey from lifeless drone to the most important character in all of LEGO creation is the kind of story which should play just as well for children and adults. For more on the movie check out my original review.

Samurai Jack #9

"Villainous Vortex" pits Samurai Jack against a gravity-manipulating machine which, not surprisingly, turns out to be controlled by the evil that is Aku. Samurai Jack #9 delivers a fun story featuring Jack in action against one of Aku's mechanical soldiers, but for the second straight issue the comic gives us no character interaction between Jack and anyone else. It's not a bad thing, but I think it would be very easy to see the comic fall into that template that ignores one of the strengths of the television show which spawned it.

Several of the best Samurai Jack episodes centered around the odd creatures and personalities Jack met in the future be they crazy Scotsmen, forest creatures who knew how to jump good, trapped Norse warriors, or even Aku in an attractive disguise. The character certainly lends himself to comics heavy on action and light on dialogue but the series needs to remember to allow Jack to interact with others from time to time as well. Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

Wander Over Yonder - The Fancy Party

All the universe's most powerful villains attend a dinner party held by the Queen Entozoa (Rich Fulcher) who informs the group that before her death she will transfer her 1,000 years of power to the most worthy among them. Lord Hater (Keith Ferguson) is the obvious front runner, but the arrival of Wander (Jack McBrayer) and Sylvia (April Winchell), whom Entozoa finds eminently amusing, does Hater no favors.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Graceland - Tinker Bell

The unexpected fallout of Jakes' (Brandon Jay McLaren) failed attempt to reconnect with his family leads the belligerent drunken agent back into Graceland which no longer has the room for him. Forced to make a tough call, Mike (Aaron Tveit) chooses Jakes over Zelanski (Deniz Akdeniz) forcing the newest member out of the house. Needing Jakes' experience with smuggling, it's an easy call for Mike but not all of his teammates see it that way especially given Jakes' confrontational and acerbic manner only intensified by his increased drinking and depression.

Silver Surfer #3

The opening arc of Silver Surfer comes to a close as Dawn Greenwood meets the Silver Surfer and helps the cosmic hero defeat The Impericon and return the heart of Never Queen back where it belongs before the cosmic entity ceases to be. Silver Surfer #3 continues the offbeat humor of the young series (taking it a bit too far in my opinion by making Norrin Radd a Three Stooges fan who even acts out one of the group's trademark moves at one point).

Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk moment aside, Silver Surfer #3 is better at selling the idea of Dawn and the Surfer exploring space together than selling me on the goofy version of the title character. In Rose Tyler fashion, writer Dan Slott continues to tease the importance of Dawn which I'm already tiring of as well.

Hopefully Slott will pull back a bit on the oversell of Dawn and simply allow her to accompany and enjoy the adventures the Surfer can provide while providing a character to explain various parts of the Surfer's existence such as the Power Cosmic. For fans.

[Marvel, $3.99]

Keira Knightley (The Daily Show)

Keira Knightley stops by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to discuss her new film Begin Again. Check back next week for my review!

Transformers: Age of Extinction

I'm not a fan of Michael Bay's Transformers movies. In fact I've hated every single one. Transformers: Age of Extinction is not an exception, but on the sliding scale of horrific awfulness that is the Bay Transformers franchise it's the least objectionable of the lot. Lazy, inane, and almost completely without merit, the latest Transformers film didn't so much anger me as leave me increasingly confused and apathetic to the "storytelling" that was unfolding before my eyes.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Perception - Painless

Standing-in as Donnie's (Scott Wolf) last-minute expert witness in a trial to take down a pimp (William Miller) who emotionally and physically broke several young aspiring models turning them into prostitutes gives Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack) the unique opportunity to view one of more unusual murders of his career as a prosecuting attorney (Jessica Morris) dies in the middle of a courtroom from a gunshot wound no one, not even the victim, knew had occurred.

Teen Titans Go! #4

The latest issue of Teen Titans Go! focuses on two themes well-developed on the current Cartoon Network cartoon: obsessive behavior by the team and Robin's super-competitive streak which often gets him into trouble. Fans of the show should enjoy themselves, although neither of the two tales really stands out.

The first story centers around a game of Go Fish among Robin, Starfire, Beast Boy, Raven, and Cyborg which gets so contentious the group doesn't even notice the arrival of the H.I.V.E. who show up itching for a fight and destroy the tower around the Titans when they don't get it.

Too prove he's the team's best member Robin decides to create an obstacle course in the comic's second story centering each obstacle on his specific skill-set. However, when he's teammates beat him to the finish line it online infuriates their leader even more. For fans.

[DC, $3.99]

Pretty Little Liars - Surfing the Aftershocks

The Liars return to Rosewood High as Alison (Sasha Pieterse) mourns her mother's death with the faculty and police doing their best to shield the group from prying eyes and questions no one really wants answered. With news that Ezra (Ian Harding) has returned to Rosewood as well both Aria (Lucy Hale) and Alison make visits to gauge his willingness to support Alison's newest lies. Given the weight of her guilt Aria also decides to tell her ex-boyfriend what really happened to Shana (Aeriel Miranda) in New York which also opens up the increased likelihood of a concerned Ezra remaining in her life for the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Covert Affairs - Shady Lane

Four months after killing Henry Wilcox (Gregory Itzin) in Hong Kong, and eight months since her last official assignment for the agency prior to faking her own death, Annie (Piper Perabo) resurfaces to return to work for the CIA. Despite several unanswered questions as to what Miss Walker has been up to since we last saw her (which have left her with a medical condition she decides to hide from her coworkers), Calder (Hill Harper) has no choice but to immediately reinstate his best agent back into the field when an old enemy (Haaz Sleiman) of hers resurfaces in Chicago as part of a terrorist plot.

Uncanny X-Men #22

After months of slowly building towards a showdown between S.H.I.E.L.D. and the X-Men by both Mystique and an unknown puppet master from the shadows Uncanny X-Men #22 delivers a conclusion that's less than satisfying. Quickly wrapping up events, including the recent limitations on Cyclops' powers (which would also mean Magneto and the rest should soon be back to full strength as well), the issue sets up a climactic battle involving out-of-control Hellicarriers about to go nuclear and Sentinels only for a single former X-Men to step-in and stall long enough for our baddie to... unceremoniously die all on his own?

The reveal of the Age of Apocalypse Beast as the brains behind the overly-elaborate plan is almost as big a letdown as the pathetic nature in which the creature meets his end. Other than Hijack most of the X-Men, along with Maria Hill and her troops, are all pretty damn impotent here. At least the fallout from all the recent events does put Dazzler firmly back in the X-Men camp, returns Magneto to the team (but for how long?), and at least temporarily cools the animosity between Cyclops and Beast.

Longmire - In the Pines

While investigating the murder of the group leader for a wilderness group for troubled teens and an attack on another member of the party, Walt must also contend with Vic's (Katee Sackhoff) increasingly jealous and estranged husband Sean (Michael Mosley) egged-on by someone who both Walt and Sean suspect is Ed Gorski (Lee Tergesen) returning to cause Vic new trouble.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #35

Michelangelo's choice to visit Slash alerts the Turtles to Old Hob's genetic experimentation (resulting in the humorous but ridiculous Pigeon Pete) and the kidnapping of a Stockgen scientist who the mutant believes can make things work better the second time around in his attempt to create his own mutant army.

The confusion after releasing Lindsey leads to the reveal of Old Hob's possession of Splinter's blood and just what it can do as Slash's limited intelligence and understanding grows quickly to mirror that of his brothers after choosing to inject it into his body to prove he's a true hero. The change in the character may loose Mikey a playful pal, but it opens up new possibilities for Slash moving forward (not all of which might be good for the team once Slash begins to think for himself).

Offering a little more of Angel in Harold's Exo-Suit, the B-story sends the former Purple Dragon to the aid of Casey whose father Hun and his goons plan to beat to death on the grave of Casey's mother. Not exactly a Hallmark moment. Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Daredevil #4

The opening arc of the new series concludes as Daredevil finds himself in the middle of a battle of wills between the Owl and the Shroud, one of whom is obsessed with achieving a new level of unfettered knowledge and the other who Daredevil comes to believe has a death wish.

Dispensing with the death trap that closed the last issue fairly quickly, Daredevil #4 deals mainly with Matt Murdock coming to understand the reasons behind the Shroud's actions and attempting to stop the blackmailed hero from helping the Owl steal unfiltered photons of data which will transform the character into something more than human before the issue comes to a close.

Although Murdock counts the capture of the Owl as a win, Daredevil is unable to stop the villain from fulfilling his purpose (suggesting he's become an even greater threat), and fate of the Shroud's girlfriend is left very much up in the air. Victory? I'm not so sure. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

24: Live Another Day - 7pm - 8pm

Following President Heller's (William Devane) public sacrifice Margot Al-Harazi (Michelle Fairley) begins destroying all of the drones. However, after discovering that she's been tricked and that Heller is still alive Margot keeps the last drone under her control leaving Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) to lead a search for Al Harazi before she takes out her vengeance on innocent London civilians.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #4

After double-crossing the Scoobies, Dracula (with his re-installed manservant Xander) begins writing in new laws of magic into the Vampyr tome. First, Dracula decides to make himself the lord and master of all vampires, which leads to some humorous consequences for Spike, but unsatisfied with the result Dracula decides to become the most powerful vampire of all leading to disastrous consequences not only for Xander's master but all of Earth.

Worth picking up for the Dracula and Xander alone, the latest issue continues to develop the Willow and younger Giles relationship which might be my favorite of the new season so far. We also get several mentions of turning "Dark Willow," as Willow's evil turn has become a much-used verb about the dangers of power (much to the witch's chagrin).

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #4 is the first issue to deal with with Dawn and Xander's relationship issues directly as Dawn explains her "reset" following almost being wiped out of existence in Season Nine. As to what this means for the couple long term, we'll just have to wait and see. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $3.50]

Wander Over Yonder - The Brainstorm

Given the number of times Wander (Jack McBrayer) and Sylvia (April Winchell) have ruined their plans, Peepers (Tom Kenny) struggles with selling Lord Hater (Keith Ferguson) on any future course of action. For the entire episode no matter how deliberate and thorough a plan of world domination Peepers presents, Hater always finds a way to dismiss it by guessing various ways in which Wander will ruin yet another conquest.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Plan 10

Interrupting an early experiment by the Kraang involving their latest invention which allows the alien beings to transfer their minds into human leaders around the world paving the way for the Kraang's takeover of the planet, Raphael's (Sean Astin) mind is accidentally switched with that of a Kraang.

Fables #141

The final ten issue of Fables begin here as writer Bill Willingham and artist Mark Buckingham continue the storyline of the broken relationship between Snow White and Rose Red while picking up several loose threads from the series concerning Geppetto's tucked away army of Boxers who begin to break from their containment in favor of a more interesting host and the character of Grimble (a former troll now trapped in the body of a bluebird) who seeks out Cinderella for assistance.

Bigby's return is also teased and discussions of the 13th Floor over the current state of things in Fabletown lead Maddy to being the first to choose sides and support Snow White for what the cat believes is an inevitable all-out war.

It's obvious the conflict between Rose Red and Snow White will play a huge role in the issues to come, but the idea of Geppetto's old sorcerer weapons taking refuge inside Rose makes for an interesting twist. We'll have to wait and see how Bigby's return and the role of Grimble will play into the battle yet to come. Worth a look.

[Vertigo, $3.99]

Fatale #23

For the entire run of Fatale writer Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have offered hints and glimpses to Josephine's past but have largely kept the reader in the dark as to the specifics of her long tortured existence. Setting up next month's series finale, Fatale #23 changes that as Nicholas Lash relives some of the more brutal moments of the woman's past during a night of sexual ecstasy that opens his eyes to secrets which Josephine has kept long buried.

The ritual which transformed her is still quite shrouded in mystery, but along with setting up Lash's pivotal role in next month's finale the glimpses we get here into Josephine's past concerning the tragedy of her son are as heartbreaking for the reader as the man who has become consumed with her love.

I'm going to be sad to see Fatale end, but the rich history of Josephine leaves open any number of stories for Brubaker and Phillips to return to the character somewhere down the line. Worth a look.

[Image, $3.50]

Continuum - The Dying Minutes

Loyalties change and casualties mount heading into next week's season finale as the recent actions of Alec Sadler (Erik Knudsen) forces Kiera (Rachel Nichols) to reevaluate her decision about which Alec she chose to turn over to Catherine (Rachael Crawford). Choosing to rectify her mistake, Kiera offers turn over Brad (Ryan Robbins) to the Freelancers as a ploy to break Alec out of their prison. While she's not paying attention, Sonya (Lexa Doig) will make one more terrorist attack on Piron hoping to poison the public on HALO.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday with Keira

Rookie Blue - All By Her Selfie

With Jarvis (Oliver Becker) promoting Oliver (Matt Gordon) to acting staff sergeant a new day dawns for 15 Division. An amped-up Andy (Missy Peregrym) volunteers to train the new recruit Duncan Moore (Matthew Owen Murray), not realizing the man's demeanor and family connections make the situation far more challenging than she initially suspected. Constantly taking selfies of himself, far too gung-ho to see some action, and botching telling a widow of her husband's death, Moore's first day doesn't foreshadow big things in the young man's future.

Dexter’s Laboratory #3

Given the perfect set-up I expected Dexter's successful attempt to write his sister Dee Dee out of reality and his subsequent dimension jumps to find her would be the start of IDW's Cartoon Network summer crossover. Sadly it appears that's not the case, but Dexter's adventure continues here as the genius inventor finds himself in a reality where science is outlawed and ruled over by a sister who has no memory of him.

Despite getting some unexpected help from Dee Dee's subjects who want their queen to return to her own reality, Dexter's attempts to talk some sense into his sister only get the scientist thrown into the pink palace's dungeon. And his escape only draws Dee Dee's further wrath.

Next month's final issue should wrap up the arc as Dexter will have to find some way to convince, or trick, his sister into returning home and let their reality get back to normal (or as normal as things get in Dexter's Laboratory). Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

Teen Titans Go! - Man Person

Taking the wrong lesson from Cyborg's (Khary Payton) attempt to make him feel better about his new scar, Beast Boy (Greg Cipes) decides he wants to be tougher and more manly like his best friend including getting his own robotic hand and taking the name "Scar Man." Still not satisfied, the hero removes more of his body parts to become full cyborg which may turn on Raven (Tara Strong) but causes concern from the rest of his teammates.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Deadpool by Jessica Nigri

Wander Over Yonder - The Lonely Planet

When Wander (Jack McBrayer) and Sylvia (April Winchell) land on a small barren planet neither are that unimpressed, at least until it begins talking to them. Wander's obvious joy at meeting a talking planet which can anticipate his needs (such as providing glorious sunsets, beaches, rolling hills, and more without any real effort) is only matched by the planet Janet's (Kari Wahlgren) jealousy of Sylvia.

She-Hulk #5

With the opening arc to the new series complete, She-Hulk #5 moves forward with finally delving into the mysterious "Blue File" concerning a law suit in North Dakota with several heroes and villains named as defendants including She-Hulk. As Angie and Hei Hei head to a North Dakota courthouse to look for records of a case that's been buried for years, She-Hulk sends Hellcat to discuss the lawsuit with fellow ex-Avenger Tigra while the jolly green lawyer pays a visit to the Shocker.

The jump from Javier Pulido's art (found in the first four issues of the series) to that of Ronald Wimberly is more than a little jarring. That said, writer Charles Soule does well offering the reader breadcrumbs about the Blue File while not revealing anything more than the mere mention of the plaintiff or case can cause hero, villain, or city employee to go crazy. Pulido's style doesn't work for me here, particularly in the big fight between Hellcat and Tigra, but the issue does provide a few fun such as the Shocker's misconception about just how many Thors there are in the Marvel Universe. For fans.

[Marvel, $3.99]

Rookie Blue - Blink

Picking up where last season's cliffhanger left off, Swarek (Ben Bass) is rushed to the hospital following the shooting inside the precinct which further rocks Andy's (Missy Peregrym) world after seeing Chloe (Priscilla Faia) shot in front of her by the same shooter. After Chloe wakes from surgery asking for her husband (Clé Bennett), the exhausted and emotionally conflicted pair of Epstein (Gregory Smith) and Andy find their attempted break at diner down the street interrupted by a holdup by unstable couple (Adam Butcher, Jessica Greco). The busy season opener barely takes time to breathe while putting several members of 15 Division through the ringer in a quick-paced season premiere filled with strong moments including Oliver's (Matt Gordon) attempts to cheer Chloe up when Epstein is nowhere to be found.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Justice League United #2

With the Justice League team transported to Rann the comic explains how the Ultra Project, meant to bring a group of constantly warring worlds together in peace, has been usurped by a madman who plans to use the product of the genetic experimentation and transform it into the ultimate weapon.

Introducing Supergirl to the team for the first time (but making no effort to explain why she's not wearing a Red Lantern ring as she has been in her own comic for the past several months), Justice League United #2 gives us the still-not-quite fully-assembled team with more of the Green Arrow and Animal Man banter that so far has been one of its biggest strengths. With Supergirl's arrival I'm hoping writer Jeff Lemire has plans to develop strong dynamic between the two younger female members as well as Kara may finally find the friend she's been seeking in Stargirl.

The genetic plot is pretty goofy, but I'm willing to let this opening arc play out and see if Lemire and artist Mike McKone can make it work. Worth a look.

[DC, $3.99]

Graceland - Connects

Choosing to allow Briggs (Daniel Sunjata) to go into Mexico to talk with the leader of the Caza Cartel helps Mike (Aaron Tveit) gets a lead on who put the hit out on him but their decision also puts them both in the dog house with Charlie (Vanessa Ferlito). Briggs finally discovers the guilt which has led Charlie to stakeout Pantillo's widow Kelly (Brianna Brown) and decides to do a little recon of his own by introducing himself to the woman he made a widow as a fellow AA member struggling with sobriety.

Jersey Boys

From the big musical numbers, to the characters stopping at times to directly address the audience and the staging of much of the action, Jersey Boys feels every bit the adapted stage jukebox musical which spawned it. Fans of The Four Seasons are likely to enjoy themselves, although 134-minutes of Frankie Valli's recreated high-pitched crooning in stereo surround started to wear on me before the credits rolled.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Perception - Paris

Daniel Pierce's (Eric McCormack) blissful holiday in Paris gets complicated when a man pretending to be an agent (Josh Cox) of the FBI working overseas enlists the good doctor's help in acquiring stolen Chinese medical research which could help out a great many people with neurological disorders including Pierce. The hand-off goes smooth but things get complicated when Pierce is accosted by Chinese thugs looking for the missing pen and later learns the man presented himself as Agent Drexler isn't actually a member of the FBI. The stress of the situation brings back Pierce's delusions making it hard to impossible to convince the real Agent Drexler (Malou Beauvoir) that any part of his story is true.

Wander Over Yonder - The Night

Awaking from his deep sleep full of energy, Wander (Jack McBrayer) struggles to help an exhausted Sylvia (April Winchell) get a much-deserved night's rest. Struggling against nature, countless distractions, and his own stomach, Wander's job is finally made easier by applying some sound-dampening earphones to Sylvia. Of course that means she's sound asleep when the Watchdogs arrive.

Pretty Little Liars - Whirly Girly

The Liars and Alison (Sasha Pieterse) return to Rosewood with a pact to come clean about everything to Detective Holbrook (Sean Faris), but Alison' decision to call an audible and lie about where she's been the past two years leads to a brand new set of secrets Aria (Lucy Hale), Spencer (Troian Bellisario), Hanna (Ashley Benson), and Emily (Shay Mitchell) will be forced to keep involving a nonexistent kidnapping plot.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Detective Comics #32

The Icarus storyline continues as both Batman and Harvey Bullock continue to investigate the return of a dangerous street drug to Gotham the GCPD successfully stamped out years ago. Co-writers Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato keep Batman up late enough for an early dawn conversation as the Caped Crusader attempts to comfort the daughter of the woman who overdosed from the drug on Bruce Wayne's front lawn.

The first-half of the issue deals primarily with both Batman and Bullock's investigation, but the second-half of Detective Comics #32 amps up the action as the Batman infiltrates the Squid's lair and finds himself in a fight for his life against the would-be kingpin's pet as well as in the middle of a stand-off between the Squid's men and the Kings of the Sun.

Although neither the Squid nor the biker gang pose much of a threat, the mystery of Icarus continues to allude both Batman and Bullock as the new creative team provides another beautifully-illustrated issue of a Batman comic I'm really enjoying. Worth a look.

[DC, $3.99]

Wander Over Yonder - The Day

Waking up to find both she and Wander (Jack McBrayer) have been captured by Lord Hater (Keith Ferguson), and unable to awake her best friend who really can sleep through anything, Sylvia (April Winchell) is left to her own devices to find a way through the legion of Watchdogs and escape Lord Hater's ship.

Rocky & Bullwinkle #4

Pottsylvania's latest plot to destroy the good old USA involves getting Americans addicted to Boris Burgers which turn those who consume them into giant over-sized bowling-ball shaped consumers in just a few bites. Let's just say it's not exactly the most subtle issue of the series. The cure for the burgers turns out to be Bullwinkle's new Mooseberry Bush Burgers which are equally scrumptious and deflate Boris' consumers but end up have an unexpected side effect of their own.

The interlude features a motivated Nell who learns Dudley Do-Right is being transferred because of the low crime rate decides to intervene and tricks an incarcerated Snidley Whiplash into in turn tricking Dudley into becoming a bank robber leaving Dudley arrested and Nell and Horse with plenty of quality time together.

Although both provide some fun moments, neither the set-up for Rocky and Bullwinkle nor the Dudley Do-Right interlude are all that special. That said, fans of the character should still enjoy themselves here.

[IDW, $3.99]

Longmire - Miss Cheyenne

While standing-in for the incarcerated Henry (Lou Diamond Phillips) as one of the judges at the Miss Cheyenne beauty pageant, Walt (Robert Taylor) investigates the death of a well-respected young doctor volunteering on the reservation. When the pageant and the case collide the Sheriff Longmire stumbles upon a dirty secret and the motive for the murders of both the doctor and his brother one year prior. The episode also marks the return of once-troubled youth Lily Stillwater (Amber Midthunder) and her mother (Irene Bedard) who Henry and Walt helped back in the show's Pilot episode.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

24: Live Another Day - 6pm - 7pm

Making the decision to turn himself over to Margot Al-Harazi (Michelle Fairley) in exchange for her agreeing to destroy all the drones, despite knowing full well in doing so he'll be forfeiting his life, President Heller (William Devane) enlists the help of both Boudreau (Tate Donovan) and Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) to make the exchange happen.

Star Wars #18

With an Imperial blockade appearing above the planet and an explosion near the palace where Princess Leia was to wed, Arrochar's betrayal of the Rebellion to the Empire is revealed in the final issue of the arc. Given the amount of chaos in the midst of various characters fighting off both local and Imperial agents Star Wars #18 doesn't have a chance to highlight much in the way of character interaction other than Leia's sorrow over how the entire matter played out.

In the midst of the action the issue does introduce the first use of a powerful weapon of the Rebellion as they make use of the stolen Ion Canon technology for the first time to allow their ships to break through the blockade and slip through Darth Vader's fingers yet again.

Star Wars #18 offers a satisfactory ending to the marriage that might have been while fueling Vader's rage and offering a nod to technology the Rebels would make later uses of on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $3.50]

Anna Kendrick heats up the summer for Elle

Actress Anna Kendrick is the cover girl for the July issue of Elle. You can find the pics from her cover shoot inside.

Astro City #13

The latest issue of Astro City weaves around loosely-tied tales of a bank teller falling for a robber, a troubled romance, Jack-in-the-Box, and a robotic dog named Rover all through the reappearance of a celestial entity known as the Dancing Man. Although I think it's a good issue, exploring themes of current civilization bottled up and asleep to the musical rhythms it once knew, it's easily my least favorite of the current Astro City run.

Despite his appearance on the cover Jack-in-the-Box is really only on hand for a cameo as his thread of the story feels the most forced (and largely unnecessary) of the bunch. With the focus split in so many directions we learn less about any of the individuals like Gundog who we're meeting for the first time than you might expect.

Although similar themes have certainly been developed and explored in more depth elsewhere, Astro City #13 still works by playing with the lives of normal characters and larger-than-life entities who don't always have the same needs or desires. Worth a look.

[Vertigo, $3.99]