Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts

Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts is odd to say the least. Cobbled together from a variety of Batman storylines over the years, Batman Unlimited cherry-picks pieces of DCU continuity to offer a new (but not really fresh) take on the characters involved. Set in the not-so-distant future of Gotham City (with a definite Batman Beyond vibe) the straight-to-video movie opens with Batman (Roger Craig Smith) clad in a Beyondish red and black costume before eventually donning his more classic colors.

Atlantis - A Fate Worse Than Death

Despite recent events (which is mostly ignored) and turmoil within her own court on her decision, Ariadne (Aiysha Hart) announces her plans to wed Jason (Jack Donnelly). Unwilling to see her son take the throne, Pasiphae (Sarah Parish) makes a bold to kidnap and murder The Oracle (Juliet Stevenson) before she can announce the Gods blessing of the union. To do show she will take advantage of Medusa (Jemima Rooper) and use the Gorgon's ability to turn the Oracle to stone.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Olympus - Door to Olympus

With The Mercenary (Tom York) having completed all three of the sacrifices required of him, Medea (Sonita Henry) makes a sacrifice of her own giving her body and soul over to Circe in exchange for the witch leading the small band to the door of Olympus. Along the way the group will be set on by Furies and Hermes (Michael Daingerfield) before eventually leading back to where the journey began at the temple of the Oracle (Sonya Cassidy) who is far less sure of helping The Mercenary fulfill his destiny than when they first started their adventure.

Scooby-Doo! Team-Up #10

A museum putting on display of a cursed ruby in their Egypt exhibit brings both Mystery, Inc. and Johnny Quest's family to investigate. It doesn't take long for things to pick up with the appearance of a mummy who steals the jewel.

Rookie Blue - Open Windows

Rookie Blue returns for its Sixth Season (with episodes technically shot for the second-half the show's truncated Fifth Season) as Andy (Missy Peregrym) and Sam (Ben Bass) return from their romantic vacation to face new challenges. On their first night back Sam discovers Marlo (Rachael Ancheril) is four months pregnant with his child while Andy is attacked by a serial rapist in Traci's (Enuka Okuma) apartment (who was the attacker's original target). To the surprise of no longtime viewer of the show, Andy and Sam's romantic bliss certainly didn't last long.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Killjoys - Bangarang

Set sometime in the indeterminate future, "Bangarang" introduces us to a pair of bounty hunters traveling through space together to hunt down the prey assigned to them by an oversight organization known as RAC. We learn in the show's pilot episode that somewhere along the way the more experienced Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen) decided to take John Jaqobis (Aaron Ashmore) under her wing and turn him from a small-time thief into a bounty hunter. In the first episode the show also introduces us to the show's third regular character: John's brother D'Avin (Luke Macfarlane), a former soldier with a bounty on his head who John is determined to help even if it puts both himself and his partner in danger.

Graceland - B-Positive

Graceland's Third Season opens ten days after last season's finale with Mike Warren (Aaron Tveit) officially dead to the world while recuperating in a hospital under an assumed name, Paige (Serinda Swan) continues to be wracked by guilt over her rash choice to send Sid (Carmine Giovinazzo) to kill her friend and colleague, and Johnny (Manny Montana) stuck in a no-win situation with Carlito (Erik Valdez) and the cartel. Although all of these storylines will be touched on none will be fully solved leaving that thread dangling to be dealt with over the rest of the season.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Star Wars Card Trader - Awesome Custom Slave Leia Pack

Individual cards inside. Also check out Pack 1 and Pack 2.

Beauty and the Beast - Bob & Carol & Vincent & Cat

While continuing to deal with the struggle of moving in together and planning their wedding, Vincent (Jay Ryan) and Catherine (Kristin Kreuk) also have to deal with the appearance of a pair of agents (Alan Van Sprang and Natasha Henstridge) from Homeland Security who show up to investigate the recent attacks that left one Federal agent dead and another in critical condition. Seeing an older version of themselves better at balancing work and home demands, Vincent and Catherine take an immediate liking to the pair who it turns out aren't exactly who they appear to be.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Community - Basic Email Security

Taking questionable action in the name of an equally questionable cause the Save Greendale Committee refuses to bow to pressure to remove a controversial comic from performing at the school under the threat that their email will be released to the entire student body if they fail to comply. The thin plot allows for the show's remaining core group to learn just how their friends truly see them as the inevitable flare up explodes.

Doctor Fate #1

Although different versions of the character have popped up around the DCU it has been more than 20 years since any version of Doctor Fate was given his own series. Several characters over the years have donned the Helm of Fate, and Doctor Fate #1 continues that tradition by introducing Egyptian-American Khalid Nassour as the latest to be chosen.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Stitchers - I See You

"I See You" is the least-objectionable episode of Stitchers to date as Kirsten (Emma Ishta) enters the mind of a murdered peeping tom living in apartment below Cameron (Kyle Harris) hoping to find answers as to why he was killed. The set-up, and the twist revealing the unusual nature of the victim's interaction to those he watched, give the episode a more interesting storyline to explore rather than a straightforward murder (although the final twist involving the human trafficking angle is so rushed it lacks the emotional weight necessary to make it all work).

Black Canary #1

I had serious doubts about DC's new Black Canary once I heard the concept of turning the hero into the lead singer of a traveling rock band running into problems at every stop (rather than, you know, let her be a super-hero). It's kind of like Scooby-Doo without the necessary zaniness to sell the concept. Gail Simone's transformative version of the character seems long forgotten at this point by DC Editorial.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Clipped - Dreamers

The subject of how long is too long to hold on to your dreams in the theme of Clipped's second episode as Danni (Ashley Tisdale) and A.J. (Mike Castle) offer each other conflicting advice when Danni decides to give up on her dream of being a singer and A.J. is offered another minor league baseball tryout. Although A.J.'s words make Danni reconsider her decision she doesn't realize how her negative influence upsets her friend who decides to throw in the towel on his lifelong dreams thanks to her advice. The episode also allows for Tisdale to show off her singing voice (in an odd song choice for an open mic night) while writing that talent into her character's backstory.

Pretty Little Liars - Don't Look Now

As Alison (Sasha Pieterse) and Jason (Drew Van Acker) struggle processing the news they had a mentally-deranged older brother who was institutionalized at Radley up until his death, the Liars search for proof that Charles DiLaurentis is indeed still alive. Their search is emboldened after a memory from Jason's past suggests where Charles may have been staying, although the discovery of his brother's grave gives the Liars pause as to the true story surrounding the forgotten member of the DiLaurentis family.

Robin: Son of Batman #1

Taking place outside of the events of various other Bat-books, Robin: Son of Batman #1 introduces a new storyline for Damian as well as his own sidekick in the monstrous Goliath whom he must rescue after his pet breaks out of his cage.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sense8 - Smart Money's on the Skinny Bitch

Capheus' (Aml Ameen) life takes a big turn when his attempts to get drugs for his sick mother sends him half-cocked after the gangsters who robbed his bus. Meanwhile around the world "Smart Money's on the Skinny Bitch" introduces us further to Sun (Doona Bae), both in her job as and unappreciated member of her father's firm and her secret life as an underground street fighter. It's the later that proves useful to Capheus as he and Sun's worlds momentarily merge allowing her not only to win her latest bout in the ring but also somehow give him the skills necessary to fight of an entire gang in the middle of the street halfway around the world.

The Newsroom - The Complete Third Season

The final season of The Newsroom may not be as good as the show's First Season but it is better (taken as a whole) than the show's inconsistent sophomore outing. Nearly the entire cast returns for a final six episodes centered around an Edward Snowden-like figure whose leaking of classified documents to News Night gets Will (Jeff Daniels) in trouble with the United States Government and forces Neal Sampat (Dev Patel) to flee the country before being charged with espionage and treason. An examination of Snowden's actions would likely have played better than the fictionalized account that, like Season Two, has several ups and downs.

There's also a wedding, a romantic turn for Sloan (Olivia Munn) and Don (Thomas Sadoski), relationship drama, Maggie (Alison Pill) and Jim (John Gallagher Jr.) continue their dysfunctional dance, a hostile takeover of the cable news network's parent company, and the news team mourns the death a major supporting character.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Secret Six #3

Four months after the release of the last issue the adventures of the new Secret Six continue with the recently thrown together team moving into the suburbs together. Needless to say they make quite an impression on their neighbors.

Although I'm still not completely sold on the make-up of the new team, writer Gail Simone has fun bouncing the various group members off each other under the same roof for the first time. While the comic doesn't have much in the way of action it does reveal a traitor among the group as well as the true identity of Mockingbird this time around.

Sadly the issue does have its problems starting with the incredibly disappointing look at Catman in his new costume. The early scenes involving the bare-chested warrior (whose run in with the cop could have been toned down a bit) bring back the character Simone masterfully brought to the forefront of the DCU, but his new duds (making him look like a failed back-up dancer for a Michael Jackson tribute band) are the worst thing to happen to the character since Kevin Smith. For fans.

[DC, $2.99]

Star Wars Rebels - The Siege of Lothal

Season Two of Star Wars Rebels opens with a large space battle. Since we've seen them last the crew of the Ghost has joined the struggling Rebellion, a decision which doesn't sit well with all members of the crew. Tricked into returning to Lothal to rescue Minister Tua (Kath Soucie) who offers them valuable intelligence for their assistance, the crew is lured into the first of two traps by Darth Vader (James Earl Jones).

Saturday, June 20, 2015


Although less intentionally comedic than Hackers, the idea of Chris Hemsworth as one of the world's most preeminent hackers is no less ridiculous than Angelina Jolie as one. The movie's story revolves around the search for those responsible for cyber attacks in both United States and China which causes the creation of a joint task force and brings Chen Dawai (Leehom Wang) to the United States to get his old college buddy Nick Hathaway (Hemsworth) out of prison to help with the search.

Along for the ride are Dawai's sister Lien (Wei Tang) who wastes no time in taking a romantic interest in Hathaway (creating a problematic romantic subplot that has no hope of ever paying off), Holt McCallany as a Federal babysitter, and Viola Davis having fun as the one-note Department of Justice ball-buster who uncharacteristically chooses to help the criminal putting her own career and life in jeopardy when the plot demands it.

Harley Quinn by Heather1337

Friday, June 19, 2015

Starfire #1

Starfire is a difficult character to get right (you need look no further than the backlash Red Hood and the Outlaws created). The new series by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti seeks to strike a difficult balance of the sweet yet still highly-sexualized Tamaran princess turned slave turned hero. Going back to basics, the writers embrace Starfire's fish-out-of-water tendencies used so well on Teen Titans Go! by transporting Starfire to Key West to begin a new life post-Outlaws.

Inside Out

What's going on in an 11 year-old girl's head? That's the question writers/directors Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen seek to answer in Inside Out where young Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) is uprooted from her home in Minnesota to San Fransisco without warning causing chaos both inside her mind and in the real world.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Arrow Season 2.5 #9

A ghost from the Queen Family comes calling in the latest issue of Arrow Season 2.5 when Caleb Green, the son of a man laid off from Queen Consolidated years before whose fortunes quickly dropped from bad to worse, comes looking for revenge against the son of the man who ruined his life. Oh, and did I mention, he's also completely out-of-control and super-charged on Mirakuru?

Spaceballs (Your Helmet is So Big Edition)

Released back in 1987, Mel Brooks' Spaceballs lampoons the original Star Wars trilogy (and several other sci-fi movies) in a comedic adventure about a scoundrel (Bill Pullman) in a Winnebago, a space princess (Daphne Zuniga) on the run from both a wedding and an evil empire, and a dark-clad villain with a really big helmet (Rick Moranis) and a plan to steal an entire planet's oxygen supply.

More than 25 years later Spaceballs may be a bit dated but it still provides plenty of laughs and quotable lines, particularly for Star Wars fans. With a supporting cast including John Candy, George Wyner, Dick Van Patten, Joan Rivers, Brooks in multiple roles as both President Skroob and the Schwartz expert Yogurt, a memorable cameo from John Hurt, Mega Maid (who goes dramatically from suck to blow), a memorable radar technician (Michael Winslow), an entire crew of Assholes, and Pizza the Hutt, Spaceballs fills the screen with an enjoyable assortment of odd characters to keep the comedy rolling.

Stitchers - Connections

Perhaps realizing how short of run the series is likely to have given the quality of writing so far Stitchers wastes no time to start pairing off characters into romantic relationships while beginning to explore the mystery of the lives who created the program and continuing to underline the dangers of it as Kirsten (Emma Ishta) becomes lost in her latest stitch unable to separate her own feelings from that of a victim (Hina Abdullah) whose husband (Michael Grant Terry) looks guilty for her murder.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

House of Cards - Chapter 28

Both of the Underwoods go into damage control mode in "Chapter 28." Following her nomination, Claire's (Robin Wright) road to being nominated as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations begins with a poorly-worded response to questioning that creates a sound byte that all but kills her chances to be confirmed before she's even begun. Frank (Kevin Spacey) is hit with his own bad news when the Democratic leadership informs him that they would prefer he not run for election in 2016 and if he chooses to do so he will do it without their support.

Clipped - Pilot

TBS' new summer comedy centers around a small barbershop in Charlestown, Massachusetts staffed by locales (many of whom grew up and went to school together). As is usually the case, the "Pilot" episode is a little rough in spots while spending time introducing audiences to the ensemble cast of characters: the lovely Danni (Ashley Tisdale), the failed baseball player A.J. (Mike Castle), the somewhat oblivious Joy (Lauren Lapkus), the spunky Charmaine (Diona Reasonover), the gruff Buzzy (George Wendt), and their diminutive boss Ben (Ryan Pinkston) who, in the first episode, attempts to get one of his friends to quit in order to pay for the rising insurance premiums.

Pretty Little Liars - Songs of Experience

Although all four of the Liars plan on returning to school only Hanna (Ashley Benson) manages to make to Rosedale High on time as Emily's (Shay Mitchell) plans get derailed by her skittish house guest (a subplot I'm already tiring of), Aria (Lucy Hale) chooses to hide out in the Brew, and Spencer (Troian Bellisario) continues to seek answers about Charles DiLaurentis first from Alison (Sasha Pieterse) and then from Jason (Drew Van Acker), but the answers she receives raise only more questions. The search for secrets within the DiLaurentis home reveals proof that Jason's imaginary childhood friend "Charlie" is far less a figment of his imagination then he was led to believe.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Star Wars Card Trader - Awesome Custom Pack 2

Awesome set #2. You can find the individual cards inside. Check out Custom Pack 1 as well.

Samurai Jack #20

Although it has far less of our title character than any other issue of the series, Samurai Jack #20 is a fitting end to IDW's comic adventures of the time-displaced samurai. Set years in the future, the issue centers not on Jack but a scribe named Mako (in deference to the actor who so brilliantly voiced the Jack's nemesis in the cartoon) who has spent his life gathering stories of Samurai Jack.

Monday, June 15, 2015

White Collar - The Complete Sixth Season

After six years on the air White Collar comes to an end with this shortened final season consisting of only six episodes centering around Neal's (Matt Bomer) final case for the FBI helping to take down a secret organization of elite criminals known as the Pink Panthers. Complicating Neal's mission is the reappearance of Keller (Ross McCall) also working his way into the Panthers (and also secretly working for a government agency) and Neal's own complicated plan to leave the FBI on his terms.

Highlights include the season premiere in which Peter (Tim DeKay) tracks down the kidnapped Neal, Neal is forced by the Panthers to destroy an innocent young woman (Laura Ramsey), and Peter joins the final con to help take the Panthers down. White Collar's wrap and Covert Affairs cancellation conclude a slew of enjoyable USA Network shows leaving the network a mostly barren landscape. It will be missed.

Daredevil - Speak of the Devil

"Speak of the Devil" begins with one of the season's better fight sequences which will be quickly interrupted by flashbacks and later returned to near the end of the episode. Maneuvered into place by the Kingpin (Vincent D'Onofrio), Nobu (Peter Shinkoda) sets a trap for Daredevil (Charlie Cox) not realizing that Fisk plans on taking out both thorns in his side in one fell swoop. The episode is also notable for the only time Matt Murdock (unmasked, as himself) and Wilson Fisk share a conversation which will lead Matt to the dark realization that the would-be Kingpin of crime needs to die.

MOMOCON 2015 - Cosplay Celebration

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Happy Birthday with Lucy

Beauty and the Beast - The Beast of Wall Street

I gave up on The CW's misguided Beauty and the Beast remake early in the show's First Season. I simply was unable to buy into the idea of Kristin Kreuk as a New York cop or accept a version of Vincent (Jay Ryan) who is closer to a male model than anything resembling a beast. Checking in on the show's Third Season premiere not much has changed.

Sense8 - I Am Also a We

"I Am Also a We" continues the show's glacial pace to make sense of what is happening to the various characters across the globe all dealing with the same phenomenon none of them can explain. The two storylines which stick out in Sense8's second episode are the hospitalization of Nomi (Jamie Clayton) whose conservative family and their doctors believe her problems have a definite medical cause which needs immediate surgery (whether she wants it or not) and Lito (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) whose attempts to fend off the advances of his amarous co-star (Eréndira Ibarra) lead to her discovery of the actor's secret private life.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Saturday with Emily

Bat-Mite #1

Created by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff way back in 1959, Bat-Mite has given the Dark Knight Detective his share of headaches over the years. An imp from the Fifth Dimension who believes himself to be Batman's biggest fan, Bat-Mite is usually more trouble than helpful when he shows up.

The first issue of the new six-issue mini-series sees Bat-Mite banished from the Fifth Dimension to Earth where it's unclear, other than the power of flight, just how much of his near infinite abilities the character still possesses especially when he's so easily captured by the villainous Doctor Trauma whose plans the imp ruined while taking the Batmobile for a spin (over a cliff).

I've always had a soft spot for Bat-Mite who I remember fondly co-starring on The New Adventures of Batman when I was younger (a show that hasn't aged as well as I'd like). I have no problem with the character getting his own mini-series but this toned down version without his abilities feels like a shadow of his former self. For fans.

[DC, $2.99]

House of Cards - Chapter 27

How the mighty have fallen. When we last saw him Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) had completed his plan of revenge and power begun in the series opening episode by achieving the highest office in the land. Six months into his new role as President of the United States Frank's approval ratings have plummeted, his comprehensive jobs program is stuck in committee, and his most loyal advisor Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) has spent that entire time in recovery and rehabilitation following his altercation with the still missing Rachel Posner (Rachel Brosnahan). Frustrated with his injury, being unable to resume his position, and his current uselessness to the President, Doug begins to fall back into dangerous old habits (booze and prostitutes) which will likely lead to problems for both Doug and Frank over the course of the season.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Batman Beyond #1

Spiraling out of the events of Convergence and Future's End, the new Batman Beyond ongoing series stars Tim Drake trapped in a future where Gotham is the only known city standing after Brother Eye's attacks. Picking up the mantle of Batman following the death of Terry McGinnis, Tim Drake begins protecting this new future Gotham which is similar to that of the television show but different in several important ways beyond just the identity of the man behind the cowl.

Nikita - The Complete Series

It was a reboot of a television show which itself was based on a previously-released film. I came to this show more than halfway through its four-year run not expecting all that much but quickly fell for characters of former killers and assassins turned heroes trying to make the world a better place.

Over 73 episodes Nikita's (Maggie Q) mission would continue to change as each season reset the stakes turning enemies to allies and former friends into enemies. Set against the evil Division, a shadow agency training assassins for the U.S. Government, the show began with Nikita and her protege Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca) attempting to expose and destroy Division, but the show would have many twists and turns before Nikita's journey from killer to assassin to hero to fugitive and back to hero was finished. Along for the ride are computer nerd Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford), the villainous Amanda (Melinda Clarke), and Michael (Shane West) whose relationship to our heroine is... let's just say complicated.

Stitchers - Friends in Low Places

Wow, is this show stupid. The second episode of Stitchers finds Kirsten (Emma Ishta) betrayed multiple times by her new teammates inside the Stitcher program, completely misdiagnose and ignore the fact that she has all the leverage in the relationship, and then (totally against every aspect of her character presented over the two episodes) forgive the betrayal that nullifies the only incentive she had to join the program to begin with. And in the course of a murder investigation she'd rather not be involved with she will reveal the existence of the program to another outsider and put her new tech friends in danger yet again without even realizing the possible consequences of her actions. You know for a smart girl she can be remarkably dim at times, but given the level of writing on the show it seems she is in good company.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thursday with Alexis

Star Wars #6

The latest issue of Marvel's main Star Wars offers some surprises along with the first big "Fuck You" to the previously existing Expanded Universe continuity.

Pretty Little Liars - Songs of Innocence

After a brief stint in the hospital the Liars return home to rooms the mirror image of their prison cells and to families who, despite their need to help, have no idea what their children endured. Each reacts differently to their return. Aria (Lucy Hale) becomes obsessed with putting Andrew (Brandon Jones) behind bars, even going so far as to lie to the prosecutor to help her make her case. Hanna (Ashley Benson) strips her room down to the bare walls, removing all traces that remind her of captivity. Emily (Shay Mitchell) steals her father's gun to take out some frustration on the gun range. And Spencer (Troian Bellisario), denied the drugs to help her sleep by her overprotective mother who is afraid of reawakening her daughter's pill addiction, struggles to get even a single night sleep which will likely cause the very thing her mother was trying to prevent.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Skydiving with Shay

Jurassic World

For the first time in 14 years we get a new entry into the Jurassic Park franchise with Jurassic World. Far from a reboot, Jurassic World takes place in the same world as the previous films (and even has a few homages to the original), although no human characters return. Jurassic World doesn't stray far from the template of the previous three films (and not nearly as much as I'd like recycling the same themes already well-mined by the franchise), but it does offer a new twist or two to give the latest sequel a fresh feel.

iZombie - Blaine's World

iZombie closes out its first season wrapping up the murders from last week's episode and presenting Liv (Rose McIver) with a series of awful choices when she discovers Major (Robert Buckley) is being held by Blaine (David Anders) who is hellbent on getting his astronaut brains back from Liv's old boyfriend. Although the season finale doesn't make any movement on Peyton (Aly Michalka) reacting to her best friend being a zombie it does wrap-up several plotlines including Major learning Liv's secret and Liv making painful choices regarding the limited amount of zombie cure that leave our heroine a member of the undead for the foreseeable future.

Star Wars Card Trader - Awesome Custom Pack 1

I recently discovered Star Wars Card Trader (find me there as CAPNCARROT), but despite the number and variation of existing cards there were a few others that I wanted highlighting some of my favorite Star Wars cosplayers. Let me know if you have other ideas and suggestions for sets. You'll find the individual cards inside. Also check out Pack 2.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Community - Laws of Robotics and Party Rights

When a local prison offers $300,000 to allow convicts to attend classes via telerobots Jeff (Joel McHale) champions the idea at least until one of his new students attempts to use his iPad on a stick robot to murder the teacher while charming the rest of the class and even Dean Pelton (Jim Rash). "Laws of Robotics and Party Rights" follows the basic formula of several classic Community episodes with Jeff learning a lesson and admitting an appreciation for his friends and the school that leads to him getting his way (after a ridiculous fight between the telerobots with the rest of the school cheering on). The telerobots also allow for a humorous final scene involving Abed (Danny Pudi) taking control of them for his own purposes.